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"The Need For The Imam"
Transcript of "The Need For The Imam"
The Imam Of This Age
An Imam does not like to see mankind divided and dispersed. He has included a number of planets in the solar system, and has given the sun sovereignty over them, so does He invest the ordinary believers with light in keeping with their spiritual station, and appoints the Imam of the age as their Sun. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) then goes back to his original topic where he states that just as the Holy Qur'an requires us to submit to one ruler in our physical life, the Qur'an expects the same of us in the spiritual life. Finally, the question arises: "Who is the Imam in the present age, whom all Muslims, all righteous people, and all those who experience true dreams or revelations must follow. I hereby proclaim, without any hesitation, that, by the grace and bounty of God, I am the Imam of the age." He further elaborated by saying that many false notions had been brought up, especially of Jesus Christs second coming, and all these notions called for a Hakam (arbitrator), and that Hazrat Masih Maud (as) is in fact this Hakam.
It is experienced in a state where the fire of anguish melts a mans heart and it flows towards Allah like limpid water. (State of Pathos).
True revelations are accompanied by a quality of pleasure and ecstasy.
True revelation has a certain grandeur and loftiness about it; it hits the heart hard, and it descends upon it with might.
True revelation carries in it the effect of Divine powers
True revelation continues to make a person more and more pious with each passing day, and cleanses his inner impurities and filth, and enhances his moral condition.
True revelation is testified by all the inner faculties of a man, which are illumined by a new and divine light.
True revelation does not end with a single revelation, for God's voice has continuity. He is most kind, and speaks to whosoever he blesses with his attention, and answers his questions.
The recipient of true revelation is never a coward and is not afraid to confront an opponent who himself claims to receive revelations.
True revelations is a means for understanding spiritual verities and sciences, for God does not wish to keep the recipient of His revelation ignorant and devoid of knowledge
True revelation is also accompanied by many other blessings. One who has converse with God is granted honor and awe inspiring prestige by heaven.
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) states in his book that satanic inspirations are true, and ordinary seekers to receive them. The Quran states in Chapter 26, Verse 223 "(They descend) on every great liar and sinner". This is referring to how liars and sinners are usually the victims of satanic inspirations, while the righteous are immediately informed about any satanic suggestion. The fact is that no satanic thought can come to stay in the hearts of the pure. If any fleeting thought does ever come close to their hearts, it is immediately dispelled and put away and their clean slate remains spotless and clean. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) further elaborates by stating that Satan can only become dominant over those who succumb to his temptations and inspirations, but those who strike Satan from a distance with the arrow of light and smite him and refuse to submit to any of his nonsense, are exempt from his sway.
The True Imam
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) included in his book a few qualities that an Imam must posses. The first quality is moral strength. Since Imams come across all sorts of miscreants it is essential for them to possess moral strength of the highest order, so that they remain immune against egoistic rage. Second is the quality of Imamat by virtue of which he is named the Imam. It means that he should have the eagerness to excel in good deeds, in acquiring Divine verities, and in his love and knowledge of God. The third quality is the immensity of knowledge, which is second to none for Imamat and its essential property. The fourth quality is high resolve, which means that the Imam will not get tired under any condition or to lose hope or to slacken in ones determination. Many times, Imam's of the age are confronted with such trials, where people do not understand their truth, their objectives are delayed, and the Imams are forsaken, abandoned, cursed and rejected. However, by no means do they lose their heart during such trials.
Chapter 10, Verse 65 of the Qur'an states that: "In this very world the believers will be blessed with true dreams and revelations". However, sometimes these revelations can lead to the downfall of a person. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) relates in his book that it is a pity that most people of this age who receive a true dream come to believe that they are no longer in need for the Imam of the time.
Who Is A True Imam?
The book begins with a Hadith that translates to "He who dies without (recognizing) the Imam dies the death of ignorance". This Hadith on its own makes one to seek the true imam of the age, because to die in ignorance is a great misfortune. However, it should be understood that anyone who experiences a "true dream", or who receives divine revelation is not automatically an Imam. On the contrary, being an imam is more than "being righteous", one must maintain a comprehensive condition and a perfect and absolute spiritual state.
"The Need For The Imam"
Written by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)
The book "The Need For The Imam" was written by Hazrat Masih Maud (as) in 1898. It was written to inform the people of the world who the true Imam was, and why Hazrat Masih Maud (as) was in fact the true Imam. The book includes: qualities an Imam should possess, 10 signs of a true revelation, Maulwi Abdul Karims Letter to a friend, signs of the Hakam and finally, the income tax case of 1898.
The Need for The Imam
Now, an important question arises: Who is to be
called the Imam of the age? What are his hallmarks? And why is he to be preferred over other recipients of revelations, dreams and visions? The answer to this question is that the Imam of the age is the one for whose spiritual training God Almighty Himself assumes charge.
Who Is To Be Called The Imam?
The present day is so flawed that most of philosophically disposed people deny revelation of this kind. Many have departed from this world in this state of denial. But the truth remains the truth, even if the entire world denies it, and falsehood remains falsehood, even though the whole world endorses it. A religion can only survive as living knowledge as long as God Almighty’s attributes continue to manifest themselves afresh; otherwise it becomes mere tales and soon dies out. For the purpose of keeping the faith of mankind ever fresh, there is always the need for fresh revelation. Such revelations are recognized by their authority, for no devil, demon or evil spirit has this authority, except God. The revelation vouchsafed to the Imam of the age gives credence to other revelations.
Signs of A True Revelation
The fifth quality essential for an Imam is reliance upon God. This means that in times of trial and tribulation, when they face a bitter enemy and he demands a sign, or when they are in need of a victory, and when it is imperative to help someone, they incline towards God Almighty. The sixth requirement of an Imam is that he continues to receive visions and revelations. The imam of the age often receives knowledge from God through revelation. The revelations of other people cannot be compared to these revelations, for in both quality and quantity they are far superior to those of other people.
The True Imam
Legitimacy of Revelations
When Satanic Inspirations are so frequent, one will naturally doubt the credibility of all revelation. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) continued by saying that one must not lose faith in revelations just because of a few false satanic inspirations. He elaborated by stating that everything that is valuable and precious in this world is accompanied by adulterations. Allah has made it clear that true revelations are accompanied by the following signs:
Role of Hakam (Arbitrator)
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) continued his declaration of being Imam of the age by saying: "I have been sent to break the Cross, in the spiritual sense, and to remove these differences." He also stated that it was not necessary for him to produce anymore evidence of his truthfulness because Allah Almighty has manifested numerous signs in my support. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) also said, as the Hakam, it became his duty to dispute over life and death of Jesus (as). His verdict was that the Ahl-i-Sunnah are right only as far as the basic concept of Jesus' descent is concerned. The Promised Messiah (as) continued by stating that the Ahl-i-Sunnah are wrong when it comes to the manner of descent of Jesus (as), for it was to be figurative and not literal. As Hakam, Hazrat Masih Maud's (as) verdict was that Jesus (as) died before the Christians had gone astray. He also added that anyone who does not accept this, does not accept Allah.
Proof of Being Hakam
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) elaborates his declaration of being Hakam by stating, "If the question is asked, "What is the proof of your being the Hakam?" The answer is that the time for which the Hakam was destined is here, and so are the people whose wrong notions about the Cross the Hakam was meant to rectify." This means that the proof of being Hakam is seen in the world around him, there are people that are in need of the truth in the current era, and therefore the Messiah (as) has come to enlighten them. Also, he added that signs in support of the Hakam continue to appear, and have manifested both the heavens and the earth. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) then recited 4 signs that Allah had given him on the legitimacy of a Hakam:
Signs Of An Hakam
I have been given the sign of eloquence and mastery in Arabic, as a reflection of the Quranic miracle of eloquence, and no one can challenge me on this.
I have been given the sign of expressing the truths and verities of the Holy Qur'an, and none can challenge me on this.
I have been given plentiful signs of the acceptance of prayers, and no once can challenge me on this. I can affirm on oath that nearly thirty thousand of my prayers have been accepted, and of which I have proof.
I have been vouchsafed the sign of knowledge of the unseen, and no one can challenge me on this.
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) related a story where a god-fearing companion of his did not believe Hazrat Masih Maud (as) as the Promised Messiah, and refused to pledge Bai'at at his hands. Due to this, the Promised Messiah (as) wrote the booklet we are discussing today: "The Need For The Imam". He wrote this booklet to explain to his companion the doctrine of true Imamat and to explain the importance of Bai'at. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) then explained the true concept of Bai'at, and themain reason behind the Bai'at, which is that the one who enters it, sells himself, with all its wherewithal, at the hands of a spiritual guide, in order to acquire the knowledge of spiritual verities and perfect blessings which lead to divine knowledge. Furthermore, the true objective of Bai'at is to acquire the spiritual knowledge, blessing and signs which bring us to true repentance. The real purpose of Bai'at is to enslave oneself to the spiritual leader and guide, and to acquire, in exchange, the knowledge, spiritual insight and blessings which help to fortify the faith and sharpen the spiritual vision and establish a pure relations with God. Bai'at also offers salvation from the hell of this world as well as the hereafter.
Legitimacy Of Revleations
Hazrat Masih Maud (as) then recounted many false revelations that even his companion claimed to see. However, Hazrat Masih Maud (as) stated that after hearing these revelations, he noticed a number of grammatical errors. He then urged these bearers of false revelations to not take offense, because Hazrat Masih Maud's (as) actions are out of honest intent, humility and religious obligation. The Promised Messiah (as) then stated that one should always speak from the purity of heart, this is why Qur'anic revelations are superior to all revelations because the Holy Prophet (saw) was granted greater purity of the heart than anyone else.
Maulawi Abdul Karm's Letter To A Friend
In this booklet, there is a letter from Abdul Karim addressed to his friend, Nasrullah Khan. The letter begins with Abdul Karim explaining his fondness for the Holy Qur'an from a young age, and how he teaches the Holy Qur'an and even delivers sermons on Fridays. However, as Abdul Karim was neither a hypocrite nor a selfish cheat, he described himself with the verses "Why do you say what you do not do? Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do" (61:3-4). This is so because even though Abdul Karim taught others to refrain from improper deeds, he never desisted them from himself. Furthermore, Abdul Karim found it in himself to cure others of diseases and gratify audiences, but never saw it in himself to change. Karim Saab then came to the conclusion that he will never change unless a living exemplar came to cleanse all inner impurities. Karim Saab stated how the Qur'an was the perfect guide, and the Holy Prophet (saw) was the Qur'ans true personification. Karim Saab continued by saying that in today's day and age, Allah Almighty has sent the Promised Messiah (as), so that he may be a witness to the age. Abdul Karim then informed Nasrullah Khan that the way of the Promised Messiah (as) was indeed the route to follow and that he should "Let go the fear of the world, and be prepared to lose everything for the sake of God, so that you may be given everything."
Income Tax and A Fresh Sign
The Promised Messiah (as) related a lawsuit where the Promised Messiah (as) was demanded to pay an income tax of Rs.187.5. during this, the enemies of the Promised Messiah rejoiced greatly. However, Allah did not allow these evil-minded people to win, because on September 17, 1898, the tax was remitted. The sudden appearance of this lawsuit was so that Allah can manifest his support for the Promised Messiah (as) in three aspects: life, honor and property. The Promised Messiah (as) stated that Allah showed his support by foretelling through a revelation that he would be acquitted, and his opponents would be humiliated. Hazrat Masih Maud (as) also mentioned his surprise towards how ignorant the Maulawis are. Because regardless of all the signs that are appearing, they still remain unconcerned with the truth.