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Refuting the Qadiani Beliefs

Maulana Muhammad Ali refutes Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s claim of Muslih Mau‘ud.
Khutba of 3 March 1944.
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Friday Khutba by Maulana Muhammad Ali, 3 March 1944, Lahore

The Quran on those who ‘take their desires for god’

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 for god”.

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 extended.

Sun rise

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 commandments.”

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 Messiah.

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 greatly.

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.


This Khutba, published in Paigham Sulh on 8 March 1944, was translated into English by Zahid Aziz for The Light & Islamic Review, January-February 2000 issue.

Maulana Muhammad Ali here continues to refute the claim of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to be the Muslih Mau‘ud or Promised Reformer.

Khutbas in this series:
4 Feb. 1944
18 Feb. 1944
3 March 1944