Updated: Sep 21, 2019
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
True Honour is in Spiritual Attributes:
[49:13] O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is the one who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.
The most righteous (muttaqi), whether male or female, are most honourable in the sight of Allah, and He does not discriminate merely on the basis of family status, racial origin, tribe or nationality. The excellent (Urdu) commentary on this verse by the Promised Messiah a.s. is well worth reading:
Whilst it is not forbidden to identify oneself as a member of a race or nation, this does not mean that 'nationalism' is in itself promoted. Racism & Nationalism:
There is a questionable hadith often quoted in this context:
حُبُّ الْوَطَنِ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ
Transliteration: Hubbul-Watan Min al-Eemaan
Translation: “Love of one’s homeland (country) is from faith”
However, though the Qur'an teaches love for people in general, and also kindness towards neighbours, and people ought to be reminded of these teachings, it is questionable to include love for the country (including it's government) as a part of faith, as argued in this link:
'Nationalism' can lead to a selfish disregard for others, and perpetrating wrongs against the people of others nations in pursuit of perceived or claimed 'national interest', which led to the invasion Iraq in 2003 on the basis of lies, and become a form of 'arrogance' and racism. A distinction is made between 'nationalism' and 'patriotism', with a nationalist being defined as:
'a person who strongly identifies with their own nation and vigorously supports its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations' and a patriot being defined as:
"a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors."
My concern is with 'vigorous' support which leads people to defend the country or community with lies and dishonesty even when it is doing something wrong. I find such people on the internet turning a blind eye to the faults of one's own nation or people. Another point to ponder is whether a German opposed to Nazism would have been a patriot or not? By definition, he a patriot German would be vigorously supporting his country and defending it against enemies or detractors, but the stated definition of a patriot doesn't encompass someone who opposes an evil government ruling his/her country.
Please note that I am not in any way encouraging rebellion and disorder against the state, and the Qur'an does instruct a conditional obedience to those in authority [4:59], as discussed in the article on this issue. Even if one has differences and complaints against an oppressive regime, it may be sensible and wise to adopt a pacifist stance [5:27-28] whilst speaking against injustice with caution, so as to avoid bringing unnecessary harm upon oneself, as preserving life is advisable. One can pray to Allah for right guidance on how to best bring an end to the injustice by those in authority, taking a cue from the following verse about some firm monotheists:
[18:10] "When the young men betook themselves for refuge to the Cave and said, ‘Our Lord, bestow on us mercy from Thyself, and provide for us right guidance in our affair.’" And this one:
[20:44] “But speak to him a gentle speech that he might possibly heed or fear.”
It is desirable to be a well-wisher of people in general and one's own people, community, society and neighbours in particular, the closer they are, the more one would expect them to be within the circle of one's love and kindness etc., and love for people in general, including one's own countrymen, but not exclusive to them, is a part and parcel of one's religion, as is the motto 'love for all, hatred for none', which finds support from the Qur'an [19:96-97]. Thus, if the wording of the hadith was: Hubbul-Qawm Min al Deen, i.e. love for the people is from the religion; or better still, 'Hubbul-Aqwaaam Min al Deen', i.e. love for peoples is from the religion, I wouldn't have issues with it. (I use the word deen i.e.religion) rather than imaan (i.e. faith), because my impression is that faith is related principally to the unseen, whereas the word 'deen' or religion includes 'amaal or practices/deeds.
Love for people is manifested in practical ways, such as supplication for them during prayer, which is a deed, and manifesting kindness and doing favours etc.; however, it may be seen as implying 'a requirement of faith', so I will reflect on it, InshaAllaah, and amend if necessary). In any case, placing 'national interest' above values and principles leads to a denial of the truth and perpetrating injustice/s against other people/s on our shared planet, as happened in the case of the Iraq war of 2003, when blatant lies were told and accepted on the excuse of uniting on the basis of 'national interest' rather than uniting on what is right and righteous. God & Religion in the Secular Space:
The USA is the only nation I know of whose presidents say 'God bless America' in their speeches. It is good to supplicate God to to bless all American citizens, whoever they may be and however they may have come to exist within the borders, but good neighbourliness is a scriptural teaching, and it would be beneficial for American presidents to think 'God bless Canadians' from time to time. And American presidents might also want to think 'God bless Mexicans' from time to time, and likewise with the rest of the nation states in the world. To utter the expression publicly is problematic on various counts.
First of all, the leader of a nation is supposed to be for all the citizens, some or many of whom do not believe in God, and feel excluded. Secondly, objections against the conduct of the leader and/or government will reflect badly on belief in God, for which such a President may be called to account. It is wiser to say and do what is just and right whilst keeping one's religious beliefs, or the lack of them, to oneself. God looks at, and is pleased by what is in the hearts anyway, not what might be merely paying lip service to His blessed name.
The same principles apply to muslim majority nations using the label of 'Islamic', where non-muslims feel excluded, even more so when unjust laws are enacted and enforced, automatically rendering the label false. Madina was not named 'the Islamic city', not to my knowledge anyway, nor was Arabia referred to as 'the Islamic state of Arabia' in the time of the Prophet Muhammad s.a. Likewise is the case of making the uttering of prayers obligatory before meetings in a secular environment where people of various ideologies co-exist. It is an act of imposing religion on people, which is undoubtedly unjust. It is acceptable to have prayer rooms, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques etc. for this purpose, where prayers can be offered to one's hearts' content. Qur'anic Verses Using the Physical Word to Illustrate the Spiritual World:
[3:106] On the day when some faces shall be white, and some faces shall be black. As for those whose faces will be black, it will be said to them: ‘Did you disbelieve after believing? Taste, then, the punishment because you disbelieved.’ It should be noted that the above verse is referring to the 'colour' of the soul, whether bright or dark, not the superficial skin complexion. Similar is the case with the following verses:
[2:18] They are deaf, dumb and blind; so they will not return. [2:171] And the case of those who disbelieve is like the case of one who shouts to that which hears nothing but a call and a cry. They are deaf, dumb, and blind — so they do not understand.
[5:71] And they thought there would be no punishment, so they became blind and deaf. But Allah turned to them in mercy; yet again many of them became blind and deaf; and Allah is Watchful of what they do.
[10:43] And among them are some who look towards thee. But canst thou guide the blind, even though they see not?
[17:72] But whoso is blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter, and even more astray from the way.
[20:124,125] ‘But whosoever will turn away from My Reminder, his will be a strait life, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall raise him up blind.’ He will say, ‘My Lord, why hast Thou raised me up blind, while I possessed sight before?’
[25:73] And those who, when they are reminded of the Signs of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat;
[6:104] Proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever becomes blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a guardian over you.
[11:24] The case of the two parties is like that of the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing. Is the case of the two alike? Will you not then understand?
[27:66] Nay, their knowledge has reached its end respecting the Hereafter; nay, they are indeed in doubt about it; nay, they are blind to it.
[13:19] Is he, then, who knows that what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord is the truth, like one who is blind? But only those gifted with understanding will reflect:
[17:97] And he whom Allah guides, is the only one rightly guided; but as for those whom He allows to perish, thou wilt find for them no helpers beside Him. And on the Day of Resurrection We shall gather them together on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf. Their abode will be Hell; every time it abates, We shall increase for them the flame.
[22:46] Have they not travelled in the land, so that they may have hearts wherewith to understand, or ears wherewith to hear? But the fact is that it is not the eyes that are blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that are blind.
[27:81] And thou canst not guide the blind out of their error. Thou canst make only those to hear who believe in Our Signs, for they submit.
[47:23] It is these whom Allah curses so that He makes them deaf and makes their eyes blind. [30:53] Nor canst thou guide the blind out of their error. Thou canst make only those to hear who would believe in Our Signs and they submit.
If someone insists that these verses are referring to physical or literal blindness and not spiritual blindness, then he/she needs to open his/her eyes to the spiritual reality of the message of the Noble Qur'an. The truth which the messengers preach is essentially with regards to spiritual truths, the unseen truths, not the truths which even a child can perceive, for uttering evident worldly or materialistic truths does not normally require making efforts in convincing people about them by means of wise preaching, nor does it normally involve having to remain steadfast under severe and bitter persecution. The Case of the Germans and the Americans: Nazism & the Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
I had a discussion on twitter in which I was falsely accused of being racist and hating America. I had first vociferously condemned the reported gruesome murder of about 3000 civilians on 9 September 2001 in NYC as an act of terror and horror. I stated that those who adhere to the conspiracy theory of the US President at the time being behind it as an apparent attempt to avoid the consequences of such a horrible atrocity against humanity, and perhaps to save face. The conversation changed to a discussion on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945, in which an estimated 210,000 civilians perished, and leaving the survivors with cancer and birth defects.
The American Christians involved in the discussion defending the bombing on the basis that the Japanese had initiated the aggression. When all other arguments had failed, one of them mentioned [Luke 19:27] in this regard, which appears to condone the mass murder of enemies who opposed the rule of a Tyrant King, so I condemned his reference to it to excuse what was done, by referring to it as [Nuke 19:27] to make my point. My position was that whilst a retaliation against the Japanese military was justifiable, but it was not right to directly target civilians, including one day old babies. In fact, the Americans had themselves condemned the Japanese for their targeting of civilians as inhumane prior to their own act of sheer inhumanity.
I was accused of racism and hate for America, in repose to which I gave the analogy that if I was to condemn a German for defending Nazism, but did not criticise the Germans of today who themselves condemn what the Nazis did, and have turned a new leaf in their relations with other races and nations, I could under no circumstances be accused of hate or racism. Rather, I was condemning the evil, not the Germans per se. Likewise, with the Americans. If they themselves start to condemn the barbaric bombing of Japanese civilians in 1945, and cease to offer excuses for it so as to try to save face, such as falsely claiming that the Japanese were planning to develop an atomic bomb themselves, something never claimed at the time of the bombing, then there would cease to exist a risk or fear that Americans might perpetrate the same sort of atrocity against other nations, and there would be no need to keep condemning America for that atrocity of the past. As long as Americans and any other allies continue to come up with excuses to defend the atrocity, just as Al Qaeda and other terrorist-minded individuals or groups try to justify or excuse the attacks on 9/11, there will remain a threat to world peace from such groups carrying the false label of Muslim, as well as from the Americans, and humanity at large should keep opposing such evils until wicked thinking vanishes.
An atheist friend of mine told me about this historical fact which shows what often does happen in war, and why every effort possible should be made by mankind to prevent hostilities from commencing:
Whilst religious people, more so those trying to convert people into their sect/group, tend to exaggerate or over-state the case about religious beliefs endowing one with a 'moral compass', then tend to forget that every human being has a God-given conscience which is rankled when wrong is done. In addition, those who exercise their God-given faculties of reason and logic, are able to attain to some points of wisdom without the guidance of revelation, as in the case of the idolatrous Greek philosophers. Whilst it is true that true religious faith and practices enhance one's moral and spiritual capabilities, it is an exaggeration to suggest that atheists and agnostics have no moral or ethical sense at all. Atheists and agnostics can be practising humanists, whilst those claiming to be believers may be total hypocrites. When ISIS men slaughtered the egyptian christians in Libya by the sea, would that have inclined them to have faith in the monotheist God of true Islam, or more towards the trinitatrian godhead? And does this show that religion is better than atheism?
https://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/15/middleeast/isis-video-beheadings-christians/ The Qur'an & the Jews?
There is undeniable enmity between some or many muslims and some or many jews in our time, especially in, around, and due to, the state of Israel. The Qur'an instructs us not to let the enmity of a people incite us towards injustice [5:8], so the right attitude is to appreciate right and condemn wrong, whoever does it, not making a prejudiced distinction between muslim or jew in such approval or criticism.
It may help to point out that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wrote that the Jews of our time (and other times), can/should not be held responsible for the attempted murder of Jesus a.s. by crucifixion. It is only the Jews of the time (in particular the leaders) who were responsible for the attempted murder. This deters anyone reading his writings from hatred and enmity towards Jews in general for it, as has been the case among (some) christians. I read the relevant excerpt about three decades ago, so I will have to search for the reference.
The Qur'an mentions that the Children of Israel (Jacob a.s.) were chosen for divine favour, and Prophets were appointed among them, but divine favour is conditional, and also that the wrongdoers among the progeny of Abraham a.s. would not be favoured by the covenant. It should be kept in mind that the Qur'an does not condemn a people wholesale for the wrongs of some or many, or even most among them. There are passages in the Qur'an which are critical of the wrongs of some Jews, but as pointed out by those who study and understand the Qur'an, the reason for this is so that believing Muslims may avoid those mistakes, and a warning is given or a prayer is taught because some muslims are/were destined to fall into the same errors. However, the Qur'an also has passages mentioning the good qualities of some Jews, such as:
[7:159] And of the people of Moses there is a party that exhorts people to truth and does justice therewith.
The Qur'an includes Jews among 'the People of the Book', and states about them:
[3:113-115] They are not all alike. Among the People of the Book there is a party who stand by their covenant; they recite the word of God in the hours of night and they submit.They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin what is good and forbid evil, and hasten, vying with one another, in good works. And these are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, they shall not be denied its due reward; and God well knows the God-fearing. Whilst the Qur'an does warn that disbelief and wrong-doing leads to the hell-fire, it includes Jews among those people who can hope for salvation based on monotheist faith in God and the last day, and performing good deeds:
[2:62] Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in God and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.
And the following verse on good deeds applies to all people, those of some faith or no faith at all:
[99:7,8] "Then whoso does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And whoso does an atom’s weight of evil will (also) see it."
Thus it is worth reminding everyone:
[11:114] "Surely, good works drive away evil ones."
The door of repentance and reform remains open for all until the 'death rattle' begins, so we should hasten to rectify our thoughts and deeds.
One should also keep in mind that he s.a. himself married a Jewish lady Safiyyah r.a. and regarded her feelings and defended her honour with loving care at least on two occasions, according to what I have read reported in hadith literature:
Aisha r.a. once referred to Safiyyah r.a., one of the wives of the Prophet s.a. as short-statured. The Prophet s.a. scolded her, "Aisha, what you have just said would pollute all the water of the sea!" Aisha r.a. replied: 'But it is a fact'. The Prophet s.a. responded, 'True, but no amount of treasure will make me say such a thing about anyone." [Abu Dawood]
Although Safiyyah r.a. had in Muhammad s.a. a most kind and considerate husband, she was not always favourably accepted by some of his other wives, especially when she had first joined the Prophet's s.a. household. It is related by Anas r.a. that on one occasion, the Prophet s.a. found Safiyyah r.a. weeping. When he asked her what the matter was, she replied that she heard that Hafsah r.a. had disparagingly described her as 'the daughter of a Jew'. The Prophet s.a. responded by saying, "You are certainly the daughter of a Prophet (Harun a.s.), and certainly your uncle was a Prophet (Moses a.s.), and you are certainly the wife of a Prophet (Muhammad s.a.), so what is there in that to be scornful towards you?" Then he said to Hafsah r.a., "O Hafsah, fear Allah!"
It would not be out of place to mention that mirza tahir sahib had claimed (at least on one occasion) that 'the protocols of the elders of zion' was a genuine document, but it is quite evident that he didn't have the ability to distinguish fact from fiction, for he was not 'a man of truth' as he had claimed publicly during the centenary speech on 23rd March 1989 in which various dignitaries were invited. Arrogance:
The following excerpts from the writings of Ahmad a.s. are relevant to the subject of racism, and indeed, any other form of bigotry, prejudice or arrogance:
"I tell you truly that on the Day of Judgement, next after association of anything with God, no vice shall rank as high as arrogance. This is a vice that humiliates a person in both worlds."
"Divine mercy rescues every believer in Divine Unity, except an arrogant one. Satan also claimed that he believed in the Unity of God, but as he was afflicted with arrogance and looked contemptuously upon Adam, whom God loved, and found fault with him he was ruined and became accursed. Thus the first sin whereby one was ruined for ever was arrogance" ( Ayenae Kamalate Islam, p. 598 ).
"I admonish my community to shun arrogance as arrogance is hateful in the eyes of God, the Lord of Glory. You may not perhaps fully realise what is arrogance. Then listen to me as I am speaking under the direction of God. Everyone who looks down upon a brother because he esteems himself more learned, or wiser, or more proficient than him is arrogant, inasmuch as he does not esteem God as the Fountainhead of all intelligence and knowledge and deems himself as something. Has God not the power to afflict him with lunacy and to bestow upon his brother whom he accounts small better intelligence and knowledge and higher proficiency than him?
So also he who, out of a mistaken conception of his wealth, or status, or dignity, looks down upon his brother, is arrogant because he forgets that his wealth, status and dignity were bestowed upon him by God. He is blind and does not realise that God has power to so afflict him that in a moment he might be reduced to the condition of the lowest of the low, and to bestow upon his brother whom he esteems low greater wealth than him. In the same way he who takes pride in his physical health, or is conceited of his beauty, or good looks, or strength, or might and bestows a scornful designation on his brother making fun of him and proclaims his physical defects is arrogant, for he is unaware of God Who has power to afflict him with such physical defects as to render him worse than his brother and to bless the latter so that his faculties should not suffer decline or be stultified over a long period, for He has power to do all that He wills.
So he who is neglectful of Prayer on account of his dependence upon his faculties is arrogant for he has not recognised the Fountainhead of all power and strength and relies upon himself. Therefore, dear ones, keep all these admonitions in mind lest you should be accounted arrogant in the estimation of God Almighty unknowingly. He who out of pride corrects the pronunciation of a word by his brother partakes of arrogance. He who does not listen courteously to his brother and turns away from him partakes of arrogance. He who resents a brother sitting next to him partakes of arrogance. He who mocks and laughs at one who is occupied in Prayer partakes of arrogance.
He who does not seek to render full obedience to a commissioned one and Messenger of God partakes of arrogance. He who does not pay full attention to the directions of such a one and does not study his writings with care also partakes of arrogance. Try, therefore, that you should not partake of arrogance in any respect so that you may escape ruin and you and yours may attain salvation. Lean towards God and love Him to the utmost degree possible and fear Him as much as anyone can be feared in this life. Be pure hearted and pure intentioned and meek and humble and free of all mischief so that you may receive mercy" (Nuzulul Masih, pp. 24-25).
Remember that arrogance is allied to falsehood. The worst falsehood is that which accompanies arrogance. That is why God, the Glorious, smashes the head of an arrogant one before all others. (Ayena e Kamalat e Islam, p. 599).
The wording "I am speaking under the direction of God" (Urdu: Mein Khuda ki Ruh sae Bolta Houn) appears to indicate divine guidance to this effect, as the word 'ruh' (i.e. spirit) is at times used in the Qur'an to mean revelation, and hence this admonition should be taken to over-rule any statements made by Ahmad a.s. which may not be, or appear not to be, fully in accordance with this new firm and emphatic admonition which he issued to the members of the Community. If such statements can be interpreted in a manner to accord with this instruction, one may do so, but if this is not possible, one would be compelled to consider such statements as having being erroneous and hence null and void, or considered abrogated by divine revelation. Ahmad a.s. used to read (sunni/sufi) muslim writings and poetry etc. in his earlier days, and was apparently influenced by them to a degree, and sunni/sufi thinking isn't/wasn't always in line with the Noble Qur'an.
He a.s. was instructed:
"Construct the ark before Our eyes and according to Our command."
So, this admonishment against arrogance was one of such commands for the Community. If members abide by it, and strives towards humility, there can be hope for a return to progress in harmony and an increase in religious knowledge and right guidance. If however, a deliberate war is waged against the express command of Allah Himself, as was manifestly being perpetrated from 1990 onwards, the only realistic conclusion that a believer would draw is that it was manifest kufr, i.e. an outright rejection of a divinely revealed express command, and an act of intense disobedience, rebelliousness and outrageous iniquity (fisq). One ought to keep in mind that arrogance (takabbur) and disbelief (kufr) lead to a decline rather than the progress of what was essentially founded to be a spiritual community, the decline becoming increasingly evident over the past 3 decades. Now consider the verse:
[24:55] Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso rejects the truth after that, they will be the rebellious.
After mirza tahir sahib and the 'big men' waged war against the express divine command, who are the faasiqoon, the rebellious wrongdoers? The 'Germans', and whosoever wisely fights (not literally) to eradicate their corruptions within what was established as a spiritual community 130 years ago, will become known as The Believers, the True Muslims. The fitnah is recorded, as I wrote in an article in 1994, (which I requested publishing in the review of religions magazine, but my request was not accepted), soon after mta had commenced, that it is for the benefit of posterity that the 'Dajjali' corruptions will be preserved in history. I estimated at the time that it would take 'ten nights' i.e. a decade, before a dawn takes the place of the night, but 25 years have elapsed since then. There have been christians and others present in question-answer sessions of the 1990's in which mirza tahir sahib responded to questions from a christian with the sheer arrogance that has become his legacy, along with his other falsehoods.
Not only is it preserved in mta records, but also in the memory of the audience, including the apparently shocked questioner/s themselves. I have also seen trainee ahmadi missionaries asking aggressive questions in an inter-faith meeting with christians, the purpose of which was said to be to foster harmonious relations. Whilst one should convey the truth, to attack a peaceful people who agreed to a mutual inter-faith meeting is an act of aggression which Islam forbids. It is permissible to defend one's religion when attacked wrongfully, but to become the aggressor is against the principles of Islam, as it is to deny the truth when a question is asked in a debate. I wonder who has been training such missionaries in lies and arrogance, but research shows that when those in authority violate moral/ethical principles, those under their authority don't care either.
I often hear or read people claiming that they are 'proud' of one's own faith, nation, achievement etc. I find this attitude unpalatable, as I haven't yet found support for, or encouragement of, being 'proud' about something personal, in the Qur'an. Whatever I have read and pondered over so far suggests it is an unIslamic thought related to the ego which hinders progress. Besides, the adage 'pride comes before a fall' ought to make wise ones reflect. Marriage:
Some people (I came across one recently) speak against marriage between adults who have a disparity in their ages, saying there is a need to enact laws to prevent such marriages; they can be accused of being ageist (unless of course they can provide conclusive evidence for their claim that there is the risk of physical harm to an adolescent, and then people can be informed and advised to use their objective faulty of reasoning on such matters. But note that they appear to be combining/confusing two allegations into one here, as any such harm will still conceivably be caused to the adolescent young lady whether her male partner was of a similar age or decades older. Please also read my article on 'Age of Marriage').
There are those who oppose inter-racial marriages between whites and blacks on the basis of a disparity in skin colour etc., and some refer to reported issues of identity in the children of such families (various such articles are on the internet, and they admit to severe depression before family doctors and counsellors). Others have tried to prevent them by framing laws against them, as has been done in the past, and these can be accused of being racist by others. People should have the free will to decide for themselves using their own faculties of reason which can be aided with knowledge where considered necessary, and no one should be forced or pressured into making such a decision, for or against, against their will. Likewise, whilst it may be permissible to marry cousins, if there is evidence that the children of such marriages are at a higher risk of being born with defects of one type or another, it is wise to do some proper research on the risks involved before inclining to such a marriage. Further research is required to reach a satisfactory conclusion on this issue, but here are two links on it which appear to give contradictory views:
As always, I remain open to further research and reconsidering my view.
There is a case for suggesting that spouses ought to be matched in more respects than not, and there are three verses in the Qur'an indicating a match between spouses in terms of age ([38:52], [56:37] and [78:33]), though they do not constitute an instruction. We also ought to take into consideration that the Prophet s.a. is reported to have emphasised the importance of giving preference to religious factors (i.e. faith, taqwa/piety, religious knowledge) over whatever worldly factors (i.e. family status, beauty, wealth) or physical attributes (such as appearance, skin colour, stature, build) and mental attributes (intelligence, education, qualifications) that may be taken by people into consideration for decisions on prospective marital partners. This is in keeping with the Qur'anic emphasis on piety/taqwa, faith and good deeds, to the extent of a near total absence of the mention of physical attributes. Khalifatul Masih II r.a. states in this regards:
"The first rule laid down by Islam in this connection is that this relationship ought to be based primarily on moral considerations and not on considerations of beauty, wealth, or rank. The Holy Quran warns those who are about to marry to consider what effect the contemplated union would have on the purity of their lives, and what sort of legacy in the form of issue it is likely to leave behind. The Holy Prophet s.a. says, 'Some people marry for beauty, others for rank, and others for wealth, but you should marry a good and pious woman.' [Bukhari, Kitab-al-Nikah]
[The hadith was narrated by al-Bukhaari (4802) and Muslim (1466):
"Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser."]
This alone should be the true basis of marriage, and if it is not kept in view in the choice of a mate, the relationship between husband and wife is not likely to run a smooth course and the issue of the union is likely to suffer. ... The first rule laid down by Islam, therefore, is that in the choice of a mate greater weight ought to be attached to the qualities of the head and the heart than to the external circumstances of looks, wealth or rank. Islam does not despise the latter, but they ought not to constitute the primary basis of marriage. ... If all marriages were based upon this principle there would at once be a moral revolution in the world, and the issue of such marriages would be far more amenable to moral and spiritual discipline and development." [Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam, p. 235,236]
I am not quite sure right now as to why Khalifa II r.a. included 'qualities of the head', but other than that, the quoted advise from Khalifa II r.a. is in line with what the Qur'an, as I know it, states, and what is reported as being the strong advice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. It may however be that Khalifa II r.a. had in mind the Qur'anic advice on using one's 'aql or faculty of reason, but these are not mentioned by the Prophet s.a. in connection with marriage in what has been conveyed to us. In any case, here is a list of verses that a search for the 'root ʿayn qāf lām (ع ق ل) in the Qur'an, produces:
Thus, one ought to promote on emphasis on moral and spiritual or religious values, in keeping with the Qur'an, and the advice of the Prophet s..a which is in accord with the Qur'an. The following hadith also lends support to this emphasis:
"Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a. said, “Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather he looks at your hearts and actions.” [Muslim 2564]
Aisha r.a. once referred to Safiyah r.a., one of the wives of the Prophet s.a. as short-statured. The Prophet s.a. scolded her, "Aisha, what you have just said would pollute all the water of the sea!" Aisha r.a. replied: 'But it is a fact'. The Prophet s.a. responded, 'True, but no amount of treasure will make me say such a thing about anyone." [Abu Dawood]
There is also another instructive hadith on the sira of the Noble Messenger s.a. in this regard, viz:
I wonder whether anyone in the nizam or outside of it reminded others about relevant verses of the Qur'an and such ahadith (there are some others, and these are according to what is evident from the Qur'an), and the admonishment of the Promised Messiah a.s. against arrogance, made on the basis of revelation, as quoted above, whilst waging war against the divine command from 1990 onwards. However, it appears to have started around 1987, when an ahmadi 'catalyst' (now a senior nizami, even if he was not that senior at the time) encouraged mirza tahir sahib in a so-called 'majlis-e-irfaan' (i.e. question-answer) session to turn to superficialities, and he seemed quite willing to go along with him, apparently due to his own hidden inclinations towards it (or at least, they were not apparent to me until that point in time); or it may have been what initiated the corruption of a 'mir abbas ali sahib', though I am not too familiar with what has been happening in the Jama'at before 1984/85.
In any case, this same 'catalyst' came to the house in 1993 and uttered the words in relation to me 'you have to be cruel to be kind', and mentioned punching, physical blows to his own son, manifesting the same sort of mindset as the 'children discipline' email, and which is the same sort of justification given by those so-called 'islamists' who intend to impose their unjust unIslamic shari'ah on others. Cruel in British english is defined as: "causing or inflicting pain without pity." Cruel in american english is defined as: "deliberately seeking to inflict pain and suffering; enjoying others' suffering; without mercy or pity"
What it means in practice is that it is okay to be cruel to others to be kind to one's own selfish desires, i.e. the nazi mentality. It is the same sort of mentality which manifested in the argument of 'national interest' that was employed to garner support in the UK parliament for the unjust Iraq war in 2003, or that 'the end justifies the means', as used by americans to try to justify the cruelty against Japanese civilians. It violates basic human moral/ethical values and fundamental human rights, and such expressions should be condemned vociferously by all and sundry. In any case, further cruelty ensued at home following his visit, which I haven't yet disclosed, and will do when necessary and/or appropriate.
Sometime soon after the catalyst corruption, some superficial excuses were given by mirza tahir sahib in ~1988 for wearing grandiose clothing at a marathon walk organised in Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey, UK. Then he increasingly became more obviously 'German', and the stone-hearted 'big men' in the nizam were with him, this becoming more apparent after my speech inculcating accuracy in tabligh reports, despite a call to adhere to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a., the Sunrise of Truth that would arise from the west, which went largely ignored, with 'companions' in khuddam-ul-ahmadiyya soon beginning to incline towards authoritarianism, and giving a cold shoulder due to 'German' influence, the severity of their assault leading one to think of [12:9]. There were also aggressive egotistic cruel sermons against individuals around the time, one of them involving roaring the words that 'when there is a storm in the sea, all the boats are destroyed', an evidently arrogant reply to what seemed to be a fearful attempt to pacify him after realising one's own error. I am also reminded of the following revelations recorded in Tadhkirah:
"The Promised Messiah a.s. said: God Almighty conveyed it to me last night that:
[Urdu] Discrimination was practised last night in the public kitchen.
The Promised Messiah a.s. directed that those working in the public kitchen should be set aside and expelled from Qadian for six months and should be replaced by good natured and pious persons. [Register Riwayat-e-Sahabah, vol. 3, p. 194, Riwayat Miyan Allah Dittah Sehrani of Village Randan District Dera Ghazi Khan]
The Promised Messiah a.s. said: Last night I was rebuked by God Almighty … My public kitchen was not at all approved because of the discrimination practised in it. The poor were neglected and the rich were well entertained. Then the Promised Messiah a.s. himself over-saw the arrangements for food and all were fed alike. [Register Riwayat-e-Sahabah, vol. 13, p. 109, Riwayat Miyan Allah Ditta Sehrani of village Randan District Dera Ghazi Khan]
Note by Hadhrat Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Shams r.a.: "Miyan Allah Dittah states that: That was the day of the ‘Id [Festival] and discrimination was practiced between rich and poor. It created ill feelings in my heart. When I heard this revelation of the Promised Messiah a.s. in the morning, all ill feelings were removed." [Summarised from the above quoted Riwayat, volume 3, page 194, volume 13, page 109]
Though the manifest deviation from the express divine command against arrogance was apparently justified on the pretext of truthfulness, albeit superficial rather than the unseen truths which religion is essentially about, it was done following a dubious boast about being 'a man of truth' during the centenary celebrations of 23rd March 1989, which would be a case of 'blowing one's own trumpet' even if were true. Yusuf a.s. was described as 'O Siddique' [12:46] by others, but he didn't boast himself about it out of false pride. It may also be pointed out that when Siddique is an adjective (i.e. sift/na't) of Yusuf a.s., why would 'O Masroor' be taken to refer to a personal name, as ahmadis are made to imagine by the nizam?
In any case, the boast of being truthful was soon falsified by 'the numbers fiasco' discussed in the article on 'Prophecies & Dreams'. I also wonder at the turn around when the official long-standing war [1990-] against divine command officially seemed to come to an end in the past couple of years or so [~2016?], though there is no guarantee it won't be resumed. Let's wait patiently and see what happens.
To return to the subject of religious considerations being the primary consideration for marriage as per the Qur'an and Sunnah, it would nevertheless be contrary to the absolute religious freedom emphasised in the Qur'an [2:256] to enforce religious guidelines on people, or to enact new do's and don'ts (or halaal and haraam) in addition to the ones that Allah has wisely granted to us, such as enforcing a complete prohibition on social media or video games. The Promised Messiah a.s. refused to declare smoking as haraam for this reason (though he discouraged it), as he was not a source of Islam himself as such. People can be advised using logical reasons, and also reminded not to ignore or reject the requirements of faith:
[5:5] ... And whoever rejects the faith, his work has doubtless come to naught, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.
The Prophet Muhammad s.a. himself was told he was an admonisher, not an enforcer, so how can anyone justify going beyond the remit of the one given authority to spread religious teachings and principles by Allah s.w.t Himself:
[88:21,22] Admonish, therefore, for thou art but an admonisher; thou hast no authority to compel them.
Believers should not need to be forced to follow religious teachings, nor should they be, but they ought to be exhorted about giving preference to religious (moral and spiritual) considerations over worldly ones, in a wise manner, from time to time, as and when appropriate.
(this article is under development)
[19:76] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance. [20:47] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.