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  • Writer's pictureAhmed

Revealed Teachings Always Against Current Ideas

A new bi-weekly series, in which excerpts are presented from the book, Introduction to the Study of The Holy Quran. A highly recommended introduction to Islam. Author of said book, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, second successor of Promised Messiah (as)

Fourthly, when we consider what these Founders of religions taught, we find that it has always been contrary to all contemporary trends. If this teaching had been in line with the tendencies of their times, it could be said that these Teachers only gave expression to those tendencies. Instead, what they taught was very different from anything they found current. A terrible controversy ensued and it seemed as though the country had been set ablaze. Yet those who chose to deny and controvert the teaching were ultimately themselves compelled to submit to it. This also proves that these Teachers were not a product of their times, but were Teachers, Reformers and Prophets in the sense in which they claimed to be.

In the time of Moses, how novel must have seemed his teaching about One God. When Jesus confronted in his time a materialism born of the worldliness of the Jews and of the vicious influence of Rome, how peculiar must have appeared his stress on the spirit? How out of place must have been his Message of forgiveness to a people who trembled under the tyranny of Roman soldiers, groaning all the while for legitimate vengeance? How out of time must have appeared Krishna who taught war, on the one hand, and, on the other, a withdrawal from the material world in order to cultivate the spirit. The Zoroastrian teaching embracing all aspects of human life, must also have come as a shock to the licentiousness of that time. The Holy Prophet appeared in Arabia and addressed himself to Jews and Christians. How strange it must have appeared to those who believed that there was to be no teaching outside their own! Then he taught the Meccan idolaters that God was One, and that all men were equal. How peculiar must his teaching have seemed to a people who believed intensely in the superiority of their own race! To teach hardened drunkards and gamblers the evils of their ways, to criticize almost everything they believed or did, to give them a new teaching and then to succeed seems impossible. It is like being able to swim up-stream against a current rushing with tremendous force. It is utterly beyond human capacity.

Fifthly, the Founders of religions have all shown Signs and miracles. Every one of them announced at the outset that his teaching would prevail and that those who might seek to destroy it would themselves be destroyed. They were without means and ill-equipped. Their teachings were contrary to firmly established beliefs and habits of thinking and provoked the fiercest opposition of their people. Yet they succeeded, and what they had foretold came to pass. Why were their prophecies and their promises fulfilled? No doubt there have been others, generals and dictators, who have attained to apparently similar success. But it is not success which is in point. It is success which is foretold, which is attributed to God from the beginning, success on which is staked the Prophet’s whole moral reputation and which is achieved in spite the worst opposition. Napoleon, Hitler and Chingiz Khan rose high from humble positions. But they did not set themselves against any thought current of their time. Nor did they declare that God had promised them victory in spite of opposition. Nor did they have to confront any wide-spread opposition. The ends they set out to achieve were adored by most of their contemporaries, who perhaps proposed different methods but not different ends. If they suffered defeat, they lost nothing. They still stood high in their people’s esteem, and feared nothing. But it was different with Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster and the Prophet of Islam. True, they did not fail. But if they had, they would have lost everything. They would not have been proclaimed as heroes, but would have been condemned as pretenders and intriguers. History would have taken scant notice of them and lasting disrepute would have been their reward. Between them and men like Napoleon or Hitler, therefore, there is a world of difference—the same difference as there is between their respective successes. There are not many people who have regard or reverence for Napoleon, Hitler or Chingiz Khan. Some regard them as heroes and are completely carried away by their deeds. But can they command true loyalty or obedience? Loyalty and obedience are given only to religious Teachers, such as Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster and the Holy Prophet of Islam. Many millions of human beings throughout the ages have done what these Teachers bade them do. Many millions have denied themselves what these Teachers forbade. Their smallest thoughts, words, and deeds have been subject to what they were taught by their Masters. Do national heroes command even one iota of the loyalty and submission accorded to these Teachers? These Teachers, therefore, were from God and what they taught was taught by God.

Will be continued...

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