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Monday, October 26, 2020

OUR COMMUNITY OUGHT TO MAKE PROGRESS IN MORALITY

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“…a person is unable to restrain their emotions and inappropriate passions, and fails to remain within appropriate bounds, falling from a state of morality…”

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And so, it is incumbent upon our community to make progress in morality. As the proverb has it:

الاستقامة فوق الکرامہ

“Steadfastness is more than a miracle.” They ought to remember that if someone behaves harshly towards them, they should insofar as possible respond in a soft and gentle manner. Even at a time of retribution, they ought to avoid cruelty and severity. Humans possess an inner self as well, which is of three types: one which incites to evil, one which reproves man for evil and the soul at rest. In the state that incites man towards evil, a person is unable to restrain their emotions and inappropriate passions, and fails to remain within appropriate bounds, falling from a state of morality. However, in the state of self-reproof, a person manages to restrain themselves. I am reminded of an anecdote written by Sa‘di in his book Bustan, in which he states that once a noble man was bitten by a dog. When he returned home, his house-folk noticed the dog bite. A simple and innocent girl who was present said, “Why did you not bite the dog in revenge?” The man responded, “Humans cannot behave like dogs”. Similarly, when a person is abused and cursed by a wretch, it is incumbent upon a believer to abstain from responding in kind. Otherwise, this example of dog- like behaviour shall be applicable to such people. The beloved of God have been abused with the worst of invectives and are grieved in the worst possible manner. However, they were always addressed in the following words:

اَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاھِلِیْنَ

“Turn away from the ignorant.”

Even the perfect man, our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was given immense anguish; he was abused, reviled and insulted, but how did this paragon of morality respond? He prayed for those who inflicted this upon him and Allah the Exalted promised that if the Holy Prophet (sa) turned away from the ignorant, He would protect and safeguard the Prophet’s life and honour, and save him from the attacks of such miscreants. And so it proved to be. The opponents of the Holy Prophet (sa) were unable to tar his honour and only humiliated and disgraced themselves, ultimately falling at the Prophet’s feet or perishing before his eyes. Hence, it is a characteristic of the reproving self that even in a state of struggle, one is able to bring about reformation. It is a common fact that if an ignorant person or some wretch unleashes abuse or creates mischief, the more one distances oneself from such people, the more one’s dignity is preserved. The extent to which you wrangle and contend with such people is the extent to which you will suffer ruin and disgrace. In a state when the soul is at rest, one becomes inclined towards piety and goodness, and one severs one’s ties with the world and all that is beside Allah. Such a person walks about on earth and interacts with the people of this world, but in reality they are not present here on earth. They live in a different realm altogether, where the heaven and earth is of a different kind.

(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 98-99)

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