by Maulana Muhammad Ali, 3 March 1944, Lahore
The Quran on those who ‘take their desires for
Many letters received from Qadiani friends
and the reply
Beliefs cannot be based on dreams
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad cannot present his past
life as example
“Have you seen him who takes his low desires for
his god? Are you a guardian over them? Or do you think that most
of them hear or understand? They are but as the cattle; nay, they
are farther astray from the path.” (The Holy Quran, 25:43–44.)
Those who take their desires for god
In the verses preceding the above, the destruction of the earlier
people is mentioned. After that Allah the Most High says that, as
to the person who takes his low desires (hawa) for his god,
who can bring him out of that condition? Apparently such persons
hear and are intelligent, so that an observer may think that they
are using their hearing and reason. But Allah says, No, they are
even worse than cattle, more misguided. This is said because cattle
do not have reasoning powers at all, while these people, despite
possessing reason, took the wrong path.
Arabia at advent of Holy Prophet
Such was the condition of Arabia at the time of the coming of our
Holy Prophet. People merely followed their low desires and cared
not for the path of truth towards which the Holy Prophet invited
them. They had lost all the qualities which distinguish human society
from animals. They had no morals or spiritual qualities left in
them, and they had lost the true principles of statecraft, civilization
and society. There remained only greed and base desires (hawa),
which became their gods.
Meaning of hawa
What is hawa? This word is applied to falling from a high
state to degradation. This word has sometimes been used in a good
sense, as in the prayer of Abraham: “Make the hearts of men incline
to them” (14:37). In a hadith it is reported that Aishah said to
the Holy Prophet: “Your Lord responds speedily to your desires”,
i.e. the desires for good that you entertain, your Lord fulfils
those very quickly. It is used in a good sense because hawa
also means, so much love of something that it overwhelms the heart.
Common use of this word
However, in common usage the word hawa is applied where
something takes a man from a high to a low state. Lustful desires
of the lower self also cause a fall from greatness to degradation.
The worship of God takes a man to spiritual heights, and opposite
to it the pursuance of low and lustful desires leads to a degraded
state. He who bows before his lower desires falls from a high to
a low state.
To ‘worship’ means to bow before something losing all self-control.
Sometimes people reach a stage where they bow uncontrollably before
their low and lustful desires. That is called “taking your low desires
Condition of the world today
I said that at the coming of the Holy Prophet Muhammad this was
the condition in Arabia. If you ponder, you will find that the same
is the condition of the world today. The word hawa is comprehensive,
including all desires which bring down man. It includes love of
wealth, love of honour, love of fame, love of acquiring political
power. It also includes the pursuance of wrong traditions and customs.
All these are included in hawa. Today you find that it is
these things which people are running after blindly, and this is
why the present war (World War 2) is being fought. The scene of
“Have you seen him who takes his low desires for his god?” is before
us today. People are taking their low desires for god and are thus
falling from a high to a low state.
Two states of humans
As opposed to this, Allah says: “Surely We have created man in
the best make” (95:4). This refers to that which has been bestowed
upon humans exclusively in the animal creation, that is, high morals
and connection with God. Then it is stated: “Then We render him
the lowest of the low” (95:5). From the lofty state of high morals
he falls on his low desires.
Statement of the Archbishop of York
This is the condition of the Western nations today. Recently the
statement of the Archbishop of York (England) has appeared in the
newspapers that in the whole of human history there have never been
crimes of such cruelty, savagery and barbarity as are being perpetrated
today. The worship of desires, wealth and power leads to the abyss
into which these nations are falling today, while the worship of
God will raise man to the heights of spirituality and high morals.
Muslims progressed in every way
If you compare the history of the Muslims with that of other people,
you find that the Muslims progressed in every way from the lowest
depths to the greatest heights, in terms of moral improvement, in
terms of righteousness and spirituality, in terms of knowledge and
learning, and in terms of service of humanity. It is worship of
God that leads to these heights.
People do not use their reason
Despite there being a clear distinction between the worship of
God and the worship of selfish desires, people do not use their
reason to see it. So Allah says that they are as cattle, rather
more misguided. You will observe that once a wrong idea settles
in a person’s mind he will reject the strongest and clearest arguments
against it. He does not use his reason and is like cattle.
Time of darkness
After referring to the present conditions, it says in the Quran:
“Do you not see how your Lord extends the shade? And if He pleased
He would have made it stationary” (25:45). Every place where the
sun does not reach is called zill (‘shade’). The darkness
of the night is also called zill. It also is under His law
of fostership, or being the Rabb (Lord), that darkness is
This is the time of darkness regarding which it is said that it
would not be dispelled if the sun did not rise: “Then We have made
the sun an indication of it” (25:45). If it was not the Divine will,
the darkness would have stayed but the sun rises again and the shadows
get less and less: “Then We take it to Ourselves, taking little
by little” (25:46).
A law of God
After this Allah has set forth a law of His: “And if We pleased,
We could raise a warner in every town. So obey not the disbelievers,
and strive against them a mighty striving with it (i.e. with the
Quran)” (25:51-52). Allah says that He could remove the darkness
by sending a warner into every town, but His law is that the truth
and light should spread gradually by striving, and people go to
towns and spread this light of prophethood.
Look at our own condition
In any case, I want to draw attention to this, that it is easy
to see the hawa or desires of others, and we can see that
the Western nations are buried deep under greed and material desires
and falling into degradation, but it is difficult for a man to see
his own hawa. So when you read in the Holy Quran a description
of this condition, you should examine your own selves as well and
beware that you are not bowing to greed and desire as well, instead
of bowing to God. If that is the case, then the Muslims too will
be subject to the condemnation of the Quran: “Have you seen him
who takes his low desires for his god?”
A book full of wisdom of all types
Islam undoubtedly came for the reformation of the world, and no
power in the world could stand against Islam. I have thought many
times how it is that man forgets God in the face of his greed and
desire. Sometimes the thought settles in a man’s mind that some
teaching of Islam on a particular point is defective, and this makes
him forget all the virtues of Islam. It does not occur to him that
the Holy Quran which raised fallen people to a great height must
possess the strongest spiritual and moral power. If a man read the
Holy Quran with care, he will certainly conclude that this Book
is full of wisdom of all types.
Many letters from the Qadiani Jama‘at
Sometimes religious people, too, follow their desires and are led
far astray. They conceive an idea according to their desires, and
then care not for the Quran or Hadith. I am at this time receiving
numerous letters from the Qadiani Jama‘at saying that, look, Mirza
Mahmud Ahmad has now claimed to be the Muslih Mau‘ud (Promised
Reformer), so what reason does there remain now not to accept him?
It is difficult to reply to each of these letters separately. My
reply through this newspaper will reach all of them.
Beliefs cannot be based on dreams
I consider that the greatest work done by the Mian sahib (Mirza
Mahmud Ahmad) is that he has turned all the principles upside down.
To base beliefs on dreams is to turn Islamic teachings upside down.
This is a result of following low desires. The belief that a certain
person is the Muslih Mau‘ud cannot be based on a dream. Do
not think that the Promised Messiah simply said “I am the Promised
Messiah” and people believed in his claim. Bear it in mind that
we did not accept the Promised Messiah on the basis of his dream
or revelation but on the basis of the Quran and Hadith and on the
basis of the signs that the Quran and Hadith have specified for
the Promised Messiah. So our belief is based on the Quran and Hadith.
What the Promised Messiah said about dreams
The Promised Messiah has written in his book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy
about people who base their beliefs on dreams as follows:
“Many people are such that they are still in the grip
of the devil but despite this they rely on their dreams and revelations
and seek to propagate their false beliefs and unholy religious views
on the basis of those dreams and revelations. They even present
these dreams and revelations as evidence and intend to disgrace
the true religion by these means.”
Besides this he also writes:
“It has been noticed that true dreams can sometimes
be experienced even by evil-doers, wicked persons, adulterers, wrong-doers,
thieves, those who live on ill-gotten gains, and violators of God’s
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s heart’s desire
Firstly I say that the Mian sahib’s dream is merely a desire of
his heart which appeared as a dream. However, the dream does not
say: You are the Promised one. So even on the basis of that dream
he cannot claim to be the Muslih Mau‘ud. The words in the
dream are: “I am the like and the khalifa of the Promised Messiah”,
which are in fact the voice of his desires. The word ‘Promised’
is not here. As to being the like and the khalifa, scores of persons
could be the like. Suppose he is the like of the Messiah. How does
he become the Promised one? Being the like and being the Promised
one are different things.
Hazrat Mirza sahib had revelations much before his claim that he
was the like of the Messiah. But he did not claim to be the Promised
Messiah on that basis. He made that claim when, on the one hand,
he was informed by God that Jesus had died, and on the other hand
he received the revelation: We have made you the Messiah, son
of Mary. So Mian sahib should have seen whether God said to
him: You are the Muslih Mau‘ud. But as he had desired for
long to be Muslih Mau‘ud, so having seen something in a dream
he immediately made the claim, while the dream is not an authority
of any kind and no belief can be based on it.
The Muslih Mau‘ud will make claim on basis
of Quran and Hadith
We have tried many times to get the Mian sahib to come out into
the open and prove the truth of his beliefs by arguments and by
the writings of the Promised Messiah, but he does not do so. When
the Muslih Mau‘ud comes it is essential that he make his
claim on the basis of the Quran and Hadith. If someone could become
a Promised one without the Quran and Hadith, the person most deservant
of this was Hazrat Mirza sahib. But he too based his claim on the
Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. His revelation
only drew his attention to a fact, but all the evidence of being
the Promised Messiah he presented from the Quran and Hadith. Since
the Promised Messiah came at the head of a century and came as Mujaddid
of the century, it is impossible that Muslih Mau‘ud should
be outside the scope of the hadith about Mujaddids. His authority
too will come from the hadith about Mujaddids. The appearance
of the Divine elect (mamur) among the Muslims is under the
hadith about Mujaddids. If a man can become chosen for a
Divine office without the authority of the Quran and Hadith, it
completely finishes off the religion of Islam.
What is the evidence?
If it is asked, what is the evidence that the Mian sahib is Muslih
Mau‘ud, the reply given is that all the signs of being
the Muslih Mau‘ud have been fulfilled in him before this
claim was made. The name of the Mian sahib is said to have reached
the ends of the earth and nations are supposed to have received
blessing from him. A few missionaries of the Qadiani Jama‘at made
speeches that the nations of the world received blessing before
Mian sahib made his claim.
Just consider: has it ever happened that the work which a promised
one was to do, he had already accomplished it and afterwards God
bestowed upon him the title of the promised one? The fact is that
when God appoints someone, that person is in a state of helplessness,
without any following. There is no doubt that that person is already
well-known for his righteousness and purity of character. He challenges
the world (in the words of the Holy Prophet): Have I not lived among
you a lifetime before making this claim (and no one can point out
any blot on his character). This is a challenge which the Mian sahib
is unable to issue.
Promised Messiah appointed at time of helplessness
What a state of helplessness was it in which the Promised Messiah
was appointed by God! If there were any people who had taken his
bai‘at previously, or those who praised him, many of them
lost faith in him after he made this claim. This was because it
was essential in the law of God to create a state of helplessness.
With the claim to be the Promised Messiah a fire of opposition against
him erupted in the world. Then did Allah show the hand of His support
and established this Movement.
Allah does not accord titles in the way that worldly titles such
as sir or khan bahadar are accorded, that someone
renders some service and as a result gets a title. But the Qadiani
Jama‘at has made it entirely an occasion like one when a worldly
title is bestowed. Telegrams and letters of congratulations are
being sent, functions are being held, parties are being given. This
is not the way God appoints someone, this is the way that the rulers
of this world give honours. The followers testified to some achievements
and from above Allah supposedly bestowed a title like the ill-informed
kings of this world do. God does not do so.
Contrary to principles of religion
It is contrary to the principles of religion to base beliefs on
dreams, and beliefs too which are so unholy that they result in
making all the Muslims of the world as unbelievers and outside the
fold of Islam. It is contrary, too, to the teachings of the Promised
Helplessness of those appointed by God
Those appointed by God start in a state of helplessness. Then gradually
Allah grants them help and succor. Moses was appointed in this state.
The Quran says: “None believed in Moses except a few of his people
because of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs persecuting them”
(10:83). This is the case with all those sent by God: they arise
in a state of weakness and the Divine hand is seen helping them.
When the Muslih Mau‘ud comes his mission too will be to demonstrate
the existence of God, and one means of proving the existence of
God is to show a man starting helpless and then being raised to
a high position by God. It is also necessary that he comes as a
Mujaddid in accordance with hadith and comes at the head
of the century. The Mian sahib’s claim is due to his desire and
the desire of his followers. The dream was the outcome of this desire.
Need for attention
I want to draw your attention to this, that the lesson we should
learn from this verse, “Have you seen him who takes his low desires
for his god?”, is not that someone else is taking his
low desire as god, but that our heads should not bow to our
desires but to God.
This great work of the propagation of Islam and publication of
the Quran cannot be done until our hearts remain bowed before God.
We have arisen to take the message of Islam to the ends of the earth.
It is the promise of God that Islam shall spread and triumph in
the world: “He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance
and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions”
(48:28). We are doing this work. We must pay attention to check
ourselves: are we not bowing to our desires instead of bowing to
Allah? You must bow to Allah only.
Love of God to predominate over love of other things
In a previous Friday khutba I said that Allah says in the
Holy Quran: Those who believe are stronger in love for Allah than
in their love for anything else (2:165). So, putting love for God
above love for anything else, you should come and do this work.
I want to give you the good news that this work will progress very
After this war (World War 2) a revolution will take place. For
that purpose workers are required. The need is to sow the seed of
Islam in Western countries. God will Himself make it prosper. The
parable of this is given as follows:
“Like seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then
strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem,
delighting the sowers that He may enrage the disbelievers on account
of them.” (48:29)
Someone planted this seed in Java and Sumatra, someone planted
it in Malabar, and someone in China, Russia and Poland, and today
this seed has attained its growth in those countries. You too should
sprinkle this seed in the world and then see how God grants you
success. Take this seed with you and keep on spreading it in the
world. God will most definitely make you successful.