The importance of financial sacrifice
(English rendering of Maali Qurbani, Eik Ta‘aruf)
Islam International Publications, UK 2005
The system of financial sacrifice in the Jamaat is based not only on the need for funds, but on a philosophy that cannot be fully understood unless one becomes aware of this need as expounded by the Promised Messiahas in numerous passages of his sayings and writings.
The book we introduce today is a must read for every Ahmadi to be able to fully understand the Divinely inspired philosophy behind financial sacrifice in the Jamaat and also to pass this understanding on to our younger generations.
Whenever God showers a people or a community with His favour and grace, he invariably requires some sacrifice from them. In other words, sacrifice is essential if one wants to gain the nearness of Allah and His pleasure. What is this sacrifice? It varies depending on the circumstances of every age. At the time of the Holy Prophetsa, for instance, financial sacrifice did exist, but sacrificing one’s life was more important because Muslims were undergoing continuous atrocities at the hands of the disbelievers, and were forced into the battlefield. But in his tiding of “… he will do away with war”, the Holy Prophetsa foretold that it would not be necessary to sacrifice one’s life at the time of the Promised Messiahas. The Promised Messiah’s duty would be to start a Jihad with the pen, for which financial sacrifice would be essential. The Promised Messiahas said:
“What a blessed time this is! No one is asked to lay down his life. This is not the time for offering the ultimate sacrifice; rather it is the time to spend out of one’s possessions, according to one’s means.” (Al Hakam, 10 July 1903)
In 1879, when the Promised Messiahas wanted to publish Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, he did not have enough funds to have it published all at once. Expressing the anxiety he had felt about this lack of funds, he later wrote:
“When I wrote Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, which was my first book, I did not have enough money to publish it. I was an unknown and obscure person at the time and didn’t know many people. So I prayed to God Almighty and I was blessed with the following revelation: ‘Shake the palm tree, sweet and fresh dates shall fall for thee.’” (Haqiqatul Wahi, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 22, p. 350)
When, after receiving this revelation, the Promised Messiahas appealed for assistance, God Almighty made such provisions that the book was published and with it, the foundation for the victory of Islam was laid. As for the fortunate ones who sacrificed their belongings for the sake of Allah, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned them by name and expressed his appreciation in these words:
“I am so overwhelmed by their support that I simply have no words to express my gratitude.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, p. 5)
The purpose behind mentioning them by name was “so that as long as this book lasts in the world and there is someone who spends a joyous time reading it, they should remember these people in his prayer.” (Ibid.)
In his book Fath-e-Islam [translated as Victory of Islam], the Promised Messiahas has divided this Divine scheme, the foundation of which was laid through him, into five branches. One of these is the branch of literature and publication. Hazrat Ahmadas exhorted the Jamaat to pay Chanda for this purpose and said:
“O land of India, is there not one brave wealthy man in you who can take up the expense of just this one branch [of literature and publication]? If five believers, who possess the means, could recognise the need of the hour, they would readily take responsibility for all five branches. O my Lord, do Thou wake up their slumbering hearts. Islam is not so destitute: it is a matter of miserliness, not of scarcity. Those who can’t help fully, can at least fix a sum out of their respective incomes and make it binding upon themselves to send it every month to help this movement. Laziness, cold-heartedness and suspicion can never be of any help to faith. Suspicion brings desolation to homes and estrangement to hearts. Look at the people who found the time of Prophets, how they sacrificed their lives for the propagation of the truth! Just as a rich one gave his beloved wealth for their faith, so did a destitute one offer his bag full of delicious crumbs. And they continued in this manner until Allah Almighty brought them victory. It is not easy to be a Muslim. It is not without effort that a man can be called a believer. O people, if you have the righteous spirit which is the lot of the believers, then do not consider my call in haste. Be mindful of acquiring righteousness, for Allah in heaven is waiting to see how you respond to this message.” (Fath-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 30)
The Promised Messiahas went on to say:
“Doomed are the people who spend hundreds for show and display, but when it comes to spending in the way of Allah, they find all sorts of excuses. It is shameful indeed that a person should enter this Jamaat and not leave behind his miserliness and meanness. Allah has so ordained, that the party of His men always needs financial assistance in the beginning. Even our Holy Prophetsa received Chanda from his disciples, of whom Hazrat Abu Bakr was foremost. So, come forward to assist with manly courage and without hesitation… Those who help us today will witness Allah’s help.” (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 3, p. 156)
These names, written by the hands of a prophet of Allah, are still to be found today, and this blessing will grace the progeny of these people to the last day. Sacrifices which are made for the sake of Allah with sincerity never go in vain.
Divine movements never end with the lives of their Prophets. Prophets sow the seed and this seed grows into a great tree during subsequent generations. Today the call of the Messenger can be heard through Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, who invites us to offer sacrifices in the form of Zakat, Hissa Amad, Chanda Aam, Tahrik-e-Jadid, Waqf-e-Jadid and in the form of other charitable means. How fortunate, therefore, is the person who offers a small portion of his belongings for the sake of Allah and inherits everlasting life. This movement has been established by the special will of Allah for the propagation of Islam and in order to reform His creatures.
The publishers of the book – Tahrik-e-Jadid Anjuman-e-Ahmadiyya – urge office-bearers and also the general public to benefit from this book in the following words:
“[The] Jamaat, by Allah’s grace, is progressing at an accelerating speed and more and more funds are needed at every step. Members of the Jamaat are therefore required to participate in financial sacrifice more than ever. Those who answer the call of the Promised Messiahas and spend their belongings in the cause of Allah, and the office-bearers who have been appointed by the Markaz for collecting these funds as well as those who oversee them, should all be made aware of the Jamaat’s financial system, its importance and the procedures relating to it. The office-bearers are requested not only to follow the instructions contained in this booklet, but they should also urge other members of the Jamaat to make use of it. We pray that may Allah accept our financial sacrifices and bestow upon us the blessings, which the Promised Messiahas and his successors have beseeched for such people.”