The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi a.s. frequently spoke and wrote on the subject of Taqwa, which is often translated into English as righteousness or piety.

He a.s. also raises the issue of Taqwa in his booklet ‘Al Wasiyyat’ (The Will), the subject matter of which may be described as being the various forms of death (whether physical, moral or spiritual) and subsequent life. He a.s. writes:

“God addressed me and told me that Taqwa is a tree such as should be planted in the heart. The very water which nourishes Taqwa is the water which irrigates the whole garden. Taqwa is a root such that if it does not exist every thing becomes meaningless; and if it remains intact then nothing is lost.” [The Will, p. 10]

We should keep this in mind if and when we witness a decline in spirituality in the Ahmadiyya Jama’at, when conflicts between members abound, with some wronging others, divorce increasing, and important principles such as truthfulness and mutual love and kindness are being neglected, whilst unconditional obedience to and respect for those in authority, and ‘blind faith’ in them, despite them violating the principles in the Qur’an and Sunnah, is emphasised beyond measure.

Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Qur’an:

[Q. 49:14] “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is the one who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.

Thus it is neither one’s gender nor race which is the source of true honour in the eyes of God, nor can it be so in the eyes of true believers. Rather, it is taqwa (piety) which makes a person worthy of honour.

The (Urdu) commentary by the Promised Messiah a.s. on the above verse is worth reading: 

The following revelations ought to be kept in mind in this regard:  

“The Promised Messiah a.s. said: God Almighty conveyed it to me last night that: 

[Urdu]Discrimination was practised last night in the public kitchen.’


The Promised Messiah a.s. directed that those working in the public kitchen should be set aside and expelled from Qadian for six months and should be replaced by good natured and pious persons.” [Register Riwayat-e-Sahabah, vol. 3, p. 194, Riwayat Miyan Allah Dittah Sehrani of Village Randan District Dera Ghazi Khan]

The Promised Messiah a.s. said:

Last night I was rebuked by God Almighty …  My public kitchen was not at all approved because of the discrimination practised in it. The poor were neglected and the rich were well entertained. Then the Promised Messiah a.s. himself over-saw the arrangements for food and all were fed alike.” [Register Riwayat-e-Sahabah, vol. 13, p. 109, Riwayat Miyan Allah Ditta Sehrani of village Randan District Dera Ghazi Khan]

Note by Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Shams r.a. on this revelation:

“Miyan Allah Dittah states that: That was the day of the ‘Id [Festival] and discrimination was practiced between rich and poor. It created ill feelings in my heart. When I heard this revelation of the Promised Messiah a.s. in the morning, all ill feelings were removed.” [Summarised from the above quoted Riwayat, volume 3, page 194, volume 13, page 109]

Whilst this incident and subsequent revelation related to the langar or public kitchen in the time of the Promised Messiah a.s., and the situation was rectified with wrongs redressed, we should apply the lessons to be learnt from this in our time as well. If the moral and spiritual diet being fed to the members involves un-Islamic and unrighteous discrimination between people, with the rich being favoured over the poor, with the physically fair complexioned being favoured above those with darker complexions (with some token exceptions), and so on, then we should raise our voices against this wrong attitude and conduct, and such individuals should be removed from their position of authority, and if this is not possible under the circumstances, then we should ignore them and turn away from them, and turn to the Noble Qur’an as the primary source of our right guidance.

Some superficial people are fond of quoting and emphasising the hadith below, and drawing erroneous conclusions from it, ignoring the Noble Qur’an as well as numerous other ahadith:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No one who has the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “But a man likes to have nice clothes and nice shoes.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah is beauty and He loves beauty. Arrogance is to disregard the truth and to look down upon people.” [Muslim 91]

Those persons put this hadith forward as an excuse to encourage wearing fashionable and luxurious items of clothing and footwear, and even go so far as to encourage an emphasis on, or giving importance to, the outward or superficial beauty of the person, and neglecting the essential principle of Taqwa, which is the essence of Shari’ah, and this goes against both the letter and spirit of the entire Qur’an as well as the hadith itself, even if one were to consider it genuine and authentic enough.

Should we throw the entire message of the Qur’an, which is to do with taqwa, under the bus, to please such superficial-minded people? They seem to forget or dismiss the reality that the words “Verily, Allah is beauty and He loves beauty” cannot refer to physical beauty as such, for none of the attributes of Allah s.w.t. are physical. And they look down on people whose attire, shoes, or appearance, is less glamorous than their own, in their worldly eyes, and neglect the rights of the poor and downtrodden.

In principle, items of adornment are not forbidden to believers [Q. 7:33], but let us see what the Noble Qur’an and Holy Prophet s.a. actually encourage, and value as being significant:

Allah the Exalted states:

[Q. 7:26] “O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” 

The Holy Prophet s.a. is reported to have said:

“Allah does not look at your outward appearance and your goods. He looks only at your hearts and your deeds.” [Muslim, Birr, 33; Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 9; Ahmad b. Hanbal, 2/285, 539]

They would hide the following hadith which also refers to clothing/attire:

Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts.” [Muslim]

Thus, Allah does not care for outward beauty in one’s physical attire. The verse of the Qur’an quoted above shows that it is ‘libaas ut taqwa’ or the attire of righteousness which has (spiritual) beauty. Even if this ‘attire’ is taken to refer to ones physical clothes, in which case they should meet the Islamic requirements of modesty, and this beauty is spiritual, not physical. The attributes of Allah Ta’aala are also spiritual and not physical.

We should keep in mind that it is the taqwa or spiritual beauty of the Prophets that we learn about in the Noble Qur’an, which does not mention the physical attributes of the Prophets, such as their physical beauty or facial features, skin colour, height, weight, and so on. The Qur’an also mentions some of their faults, so we should not idolise them, and should consider them to be fallible humans who were/are liable to err, in spite of their noble and righteous intentions.

The beard of Prophet Haroon a.s. is the only physical feature of any Prophet mentioned in the Qur’an [Q. 20:95], but this is only mentioned incidentally, in passing. Even in the case of the Prophet Yusuf a.s., there is no verse directly mentioning his physical beauty or handsomeness, and one may interpret the verse in question [Q. 12:32] to refer to his ‘spiritual magnetism’ rather than his ‘superficial magnetism’, i.e. in the sense that he restrained his inner self from being overawed by the physical beauty of the many ‘non-hijabi’ women present at the banquet, and thus behaving like ‘a noble angel’ rather than the average unrighteous idolatrous man in Egypt, which those women were more familiar with.

The hadith about the beauty of Yusuf a.s. may also be understood in the spiritual sense, in that his taqwa became manifest when he was tempted. Taking it in the physical sense is possible, that the outward beauty of the Noble Prophet Muhammad s.a. exceeded that of Prophet Yusuf a.s., but this raises questions, such as why the Prophet Muhammad s.a. did not cause the superficial women of Mecca to ‘fall madly in love’ with him or literally ‘cut their hands’ (an expression which might also be understood in the metaphorical sense of feeling powerless to seduce or overcome someone) during his youth in Mecca.

In any case, even if understood in the physical sense, the Noble Qur’an, which is the primary source of guidance along the right path, does not mention the physical handsomeness of Prophet Yusuf a.s. So, why does the Qur’an not value physical handsomeness, and not consider it as something significant enough to even mention?

This shows that it is not only a Book of profound spirituality, but this also serves as a sign that it is from the Unseen God, and that it’s message of Taqwa (spiritual beauty) is for all types of persons in society, whether they be deemed to be exceptionally handsome or not, for they also can, and do, fall into ‘zina’ (fornication or adultery).

Let us consider what is stated in the Bible in this regard:

[1 Samuel 16:6,7] “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, “Surely here before the LORD is His anointed. But the LORD  said  to Samuel, “Do not consider his countenance or on the height of his stature, for I have rejected him; the LORD does not see as man  does. For man sees the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart.”

However, the Bible also mentions the physical handsomeness of David a.s. and Joseph a.s. (though I have not come across such information concerning the other Biblical Prophets), which may well be true, but some may draw erroneous conclusions from this and emphasise and give undue importance to their physical aspect. Of course, neither being physically handsome nor otherwise means that one can’t become righteous.

There is a normal distribution curve with regards to the physical attributes of people in society, and for a any leader of people, let alone a spiritual leader, to give undue importance to physical appearances is a sign of his not only going astray from the right path, but also his being dim-witted in worldly terms. If one’s own child is not physically beautiful, and one still keeps on emphasising physical attributes beyond measure, and wages a war against the Divine command to shun arrogance, then one is clearly stupid even in worldly terms, for he has not learnt any lessons in life, and stupid in spiritual terms, for he did not appreciate that the essence of the Qur’an is Taqwa, or spiritual beauty, and led many astray from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

The duty of a spiritual leader is to unite all kinds of believers in faith and righteousness, and to emphasise moral and spiritual values so they may grow in faith, and not in worldly desires and fancies. Even a worldly leader has to keep all types of people in mind.

The Promised Messiah a.s. wrote:

“God desires to draw all those people whether they belong to Europe or Asia who inhabit various habitations of the world and who have virtuous nature to the Unity of God and unite people, His servants, in one Faith. This is the very purpose of God to achieve which I have been sent to the world. So you, too, pursue this end, but with kindness, moral probity and by stressing on prayers. And till that time that someone, inspired by God with the Holy Spirit, is raised by Him, all of you should work in harmony after me.”

The attitude of the Holy Prophet s.a. in this regard is reflected in another hadith:

Aisha r.a. once referred to Safiyyah r.a., one of the wives of the Prophet s.a. as short-statured. The Prophet s.a. scolded her, “Aisha, what you have just said would pollute all the water of the sea!”  Aisha r.a. replied: ‘But it is a fact’. The Prophet s.a. responded, ‘True, but no amount of treasure will make me say such a thing about anyone.” [Abu Dawood] 

When a religious leader himself pollutes the water that his flock drinks, then we should cease supporting his corrupt administration, and no longer make sacrifices of time and money etc. for them. Religion is about spiritual truths, and the Noble Prophet s.a. admonished Aisha r.a. that he wouldn’t adopt such a way or attitude which is entirely inconsistent with the Noble Qur’an. There is a prophecy which says that Dajjal will be short-statured, which refers to his insufficient knowledge of the Qur’an & Sunnah. I saw a trainee murabbi indicate with his hand some years ago that another person was short-statured, which disappointed me, though I was not surprised. In truth, his own stature was manifested as inadequate when he did that. It prompted me to use an opportunity that presented itself before me in order to share this very hadith for the benefit of members of the Jama’at, in order to counter the corrupt attitude of emphasis on superficialities rather than taqwa and spirituality. Being young herself, my niece requested me to write a speech for her, and this was a day, or perhaps even less, before the event. I searched for other ahadith which would be more relevant to countering the ‘German’ attitude, but none other was even half as suitable. I was eventually left with little or no choice but to use it, and hope and pray for the best result from it. There is a dream of Khalifa II r.a. in which his companions bring someone to meet him, and Khalifa II r.a. asks him why he adopted this (German) way, and he is unable to speak properly, and falls down (from recollection), i.e. he is not able to provide any (valid) answer.

The personal example or way of the Noble Prophet s.a. is further illustrated by the following incident which was referred to in a Lajna Ima-illah program on mta a few years ago:

“There was a man from the people of the desert whose name was Zahir bin Hizam (or bin Haram). And he was loved by the Prophet s.a. He was (also) not of a pleasant (facial) appearance. The Prophet s.a. came to him one day, while he (Zahir) was selling his goods (in the market) and embraced him (from behind) so that he (Zahir) could not see who it was [nb. in another narration he s.a. placed his hands over his eyes to stop him from looking behind]. Zahir asked: ‘Tell me, who is this?’, he turned and found it was the Prophet s.a., so he continued to rub his back (and cling) onto the chest (of the Prophet s.a. Upon this, the Prophet s.a. (held him and) said (in jest to those around him): ‘Who would like to buy a slave (from me)’? He (Zahir) said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, by Allaah you will find me to be a poor sell (i.e. I’ll be of no value)’. The Prophet s.a. said: ‘But with Allaah you are not unsellable?’ [in another narration ‘But with Allaah you are valuable’].”

[Al-Bayhaqi, ‘Sunan al-Kubra’, 10/248 [found in Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Abi Ya’la and Bazzar with slight variations] – graded as saheeh by Ibn Katheer in ‘Al-Bidaayah’, 6/48; Ibn Hajar in ‘Al-Isaabah’, 1/542; Al-Haythami in ‘Majma az-Zawa’id’, 9/371 (#15979) and al-Albani in ‘Takhreej Mishkat al-Masabih’, 4815 (see also ‘Mukhtasar Shama’il’, 204)]

[Source: https://hayatussahaaba.wordpress.com/category/zahir-ibn-haram/%5D

I remember reading this incident mentioned in the book ‘Life of Muhammad’ by Khalifatul-Masih II r.a. as a child, one entering his teenage years, and it not only reminded me of the motto ‘love for all, hatred for none’, but also instilled belief in Muhammad s.a. as a Prophet of God within my heart. There are many who are aware of this noble example of the Prophet s.a., but ignore, and even try to prevent others from acting upon it in any way. As this hadith is in perfect accord with the Noble Qur’an, there is good reason to accept it as authentic, and spread it amongst people.

So, those amongst our women who remind themselves and others of the sublime character and exemplary ways of the Prophet Muhammad s.a., as was done in the mta program by Lajna Ima-illaah a few years ago, and act upon it themselves, deserve full credit for it, especially when some others around them are steeped in the darkness of waging a spiritually blind or one-eyed war against the Qur’an and Sunnah, against the command of Allah & the way of His Noble Messenger s.a., for we all need reminders from time to time. And though the nizam doesn’t appear to appreciate this, our women go out in the streets displaying their adherence to Islamic teachings, and deserve credit for this as well, whereas the men largely mingle in with the crowds without having to proclaim their Islam so openly.

It is rather unfortunate that neither Ansarullah nor Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya have reminded the members of the noble character of the Holy Prophet s.a. in this regard, of showing ‘love for all, hatred for none’, so as to instil within them the true spirit of Islamic teachings over the past three decades, or if they have, it hasn’t come to my attention so far. And the fully trained religious scholars are all men who are supposedly responsible for guiding and correcting the men in the Jama’at, as well as the women (at least until we have fully trained women scholars), in religious knowledge and practice.

If the missionaries in the Jama’at have true and genuine love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a., they would remind the members of the Jama’at about his exemplary ‘love for all, and hatred for none’ at every suitable opportunity. However, one of them, and I don’t intend to mention his name here, as the point is not to humiliate anyone, but more to serve as right guidance, even quoted to me, in the year 2012, the verse of the Qur’an [Q. 2:84]:

وَ قُوۡلُوۡا لِلنَّاسِ حُسۡنًا 

which is translated as: “…and speak to people kindly.”

As the word used is husn, which means beauty, he was lending his support, or so he seemed to think, to the emphasis on superficial physical beauty to people by the two more recent caliphs. Those who now desist from such glaring errors in religious thought and practice, which appeared to a greater extent in some and to a lesser extent in others, and reform themselves, discarding all falsehoods, can hope for forgiveness from Allah Ta’aala.

Is there any point in supporting or associating with such a misguided administration (nizam), which has waged a war against the Divine command and encouraged such spiritual darkness?

The Reality of the Dajjal: (Anti-Christ)

On the subject of spiritual blindness, or being one-eyed, or to be more precise, the Dajjal, the Promised Messiah a.s. wrote:

“I beseeched Allah the High and threw myself before Him desiring that the mystery of descent might be resolved and the true interpretation of the Dajjal (i.e. Anti-Christ) might be revealed so that I should know it with the certainty of knowledge and should see it with the certainty of sight. His favour then turned towards my instruction, my understanding, and it was revealed to me. I was taught from His Presence that descent in its true meaning is a reality, but that the Muslims have not understood that reality…. My Lord informed me that descent is spiritual and not physical.

… As to the Anti-Christ, now listen, I will explain to you the reality on the basis of the clear and pure revelation that I have received…. Then understand, my dear ones, that it has been disclosed to me that the reference to the Anti-Christ as one individual is not designed to indicate his personal individuality, but his unity as a species, meaning thereby that in that species there will be a unity of ideas as is, indeed, indicated by the word Dajjal [Anti-Christ] itself and in this name there are many Signs for those who reflect. The meaning of the word Dajjal is a chain of deceptive ideas, the links of which are so attached to each other as if it was a structure of equal-sized bricks of the same colour, quality and strength, some of them firmly overlapping others and further strengthened by being plastered from outside.” [A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, pp. 552–555, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 5, pp. 552–555]

Let us now turn to study some relevant verses of the Noble Qur’an, the Perfect Book, the Best of Ahadith, the Hablullaah (Rope of Allah), and the Imam par excellence, which confirm to us that it is a Book of Profound Spirituality emanating from the Unseen God.

Qur’anic Verses Using the Physical Word to Illustrate the Spiritual World:

[Q. 3:107] On the day when some faces shall be white, and some faces shall be black. As for those whose faces will be black, it will be said to them: ‘Did you disbelieve after believing? Taste, then, the punishment because you disbelieved.’

It should be noted that the above verse is referring to the ‘colour’ of the soul, whether bright or dark, not the superficial skin complexion. Similar is the case with the following verses:

[Q. 2:19] They are deaf, dumb and blind; so they will not return. [2:171] And the case of those who disbelieve is like the case of one who shouts to that which hears nothing but a call and a cry. They are deaf, dumb, and blind — so they do not understand.

[Q. 5:72] And they thought there would be no punishment, so they became blind and deaf. But Allah turned to them in mercy; yet again many of them became blind and deaf; and Allah is Watchful of what they do.

[Q. 10:44] And among them are some who look towards thee. But canst thou guide the blind, even though they see not?

[Q. 17:73] But whoso is blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter, and even more astray from the way.

[Q. 20:125,126] ‘But whosoever will turn away from My Reminder, his will be a strait life, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall raise him up blind.’  He will say, ‘My Lord, why hast Thou raised me up blind, while I possessed sight before?’

[Q. 25:74] And those who, when they are reminded of the Signs of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat;

[Q. 6:105] Proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever becomes blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a guardian over you.

[Q. 11:25] The case of the two parties is like that of the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing. Is the case of the two alike? Will you not then understand?

[Q. 27:67] Nay, their knowledge has reached its end respecting the Hereafter; nay, they are indeed in doubt about it; nay, they are blind to it.

[Q. 13:20] Is he, then, who knows that what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord is the truth, like one who is blind? But only those gifted with understanding will reflect:

[Q. 17:98] And he whom Allah guides, is the only one rightly guided; but as for those whom He allows to perish, thou wilt find for them no helpers beside Him. And on the Day of Resurrection We shall gather them together on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf. Their abode will be Hell; every time it abates, We shall increase for them the flame.

[Q. 22:47] Have they not travelled in the land, so that they may have hearts wherewith to understand, or ears wherewith to hear? But the fact is that it is not the eyes that are blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that are blind.

[Q. 27:82] And thou canst not guide the blind out of their error. Thou canst make only those to hear who believe in Our Signs, for they submit.

[Q. 47:24] It is these whom Allah curses so that He makes them deaf and makes their eyes blind.

[Q. 30:54] Nor canst thou guide the blind out of their error. Thou canst make only those to hear who would believe in Our Signs and they submit.

The verses above should suffice to illustrate the point being made. If someone insists that these verses are referring to physical or literal blindness and not spiritual blindness, then he/she needs to open his/her eyes to the spiritual reality of the message of the Noble Qur’an. The truth which the Messengers preach is essentially with regards to spiritual truths, the unseen truths, not the so very obvious truths which even a child can easily perceive. Uttering evident worldly or materialistic truths does not normally require making efforts in convincing people about them by means of wise preaching, nor does it normally involve having to remain steadfast under severe and bitter persecution, making one deserving of spiritual reward.

Let us now turn to the subject of arrogance, which is something totally incompatible with taqwa, and which was also mentioned in a misused hadith quoted above.

Arrogance: 

The following excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiah and Imam al Mahdi a.s. are relevant to the subject of any form of bigotry, prejudice or arrogance:

“I tell you truly that on the Day of Judgement, next after association of anything with God, no vice shall rank as high as arrogance. This is a vice that humiliates a person in both worlds.”

“Divine mercy rescues every believer in Divine Unity, except an arrogant one. Satan also claimed that he believed in the Unity of God, but as he was afflicted with arrogance and looked contemptuously upon Adam, whom God loved, and found fault with him he was ruined and became accursed. Thus the first sin whereby one was ruined for ever was arrogance” [Aina-e-Kamaalaat-e-Islam, p. 598].

“I admonish my community to shun arrogance as arrogance is hateful in the eyes of God, the Lord of Glory. You may not perhaps fully realise what is arrogance. Then listen to me as I am speaking under the direction of God. Everyone who looks down upon a brother because he esteems himself more learned, or wiser, or more proficient than him is arrogant, inasmuch as he does not esteem God as the Fountainhead of all intelligence and knowledge and deems himself as something. Has God not the power to afflict him with lunacy and to bestow upon his brother whom he accounts small, better intelligence and knowledge and higher proficiency than him?

So also, he who, out of a mistaken conception of his wealth, or status, or dignity, looks down upon his brother, is arrogant because he forgets that his wealth, status and dignity were bestowed upon him by God. He is blind and does not realise that God has power to so afflict him that in a moment he might be reduced to the condition of the lowest of the low, and to bestow upon his brother whom he esteems low greater wealth than him. In the same way he who takes pride in his physical health, or is conceited of his beauty, or good looks, or strength, or might and bestows a scornful designation on his brother making fun of him and proclaims his physical defects is arrogant, for he is unaware of God Who has power to afflict him with such physical defects as to render him worse than his brother and to bless the latter so that his faculties should not suffer decline or be stultified over a long period, for He has power to do all that He wills. 

So he who is neglectful of Prayer on account of his dependence upon his faculties is arrogant for he has not recognised the Fountainhead of all power and strength and relies upon himself. Therefore, dear ones, keep all these admonitions in mind lest you should be accounted arrogant in the estimation of God Almighty unknowingly. He who out of pride corrects the pronunciation of a word by his brother partakes of arrogance. He who does not listen courteously to his brother and turns away from him partakes of arrogance. He who resents a brother sitting next to him partakes of arrogance.” [Nuzul-ul-Masih, pp. 24-25].

Remember that arrogance is allied to falsehood. The worst falsehood is that which accompanies arrogance. That is why God, the Glorious, smashes the head of an arrogant one before all others. [Aina-e-Kamaalaat-e-Islam, p. 599].

The wording “I am speaking under the direction of God” (Urdu: میں خدا کی روح سے بولتا ہوںMein Khuda Ki Ruh Sae Bolta Houn) appears to indicate divine guidance to this effect, as the word ‘ruh’ (i.e. spirit) is at times used in the Qur’an to mean revelation, and hence this admonition should be taken to over-rule any statements made by Ahmad a.s. which may not be, or appear not to be, fully in accordance with this new firm and emphatic admonition which he issued to the members of the Community. If such statements can be interpreted in a manner to accord with this instruction, one may do so, but if this is not possible, one would be compelled to consider such statements as having being erroneous and hence null and void, or considered abrogated by Divine revelation.

The Promised Messiah a.s. was a Sunni Muslim following the Hanafi school of thought, and read a variety of sunni writings and poetry in his time, not all of which were in accord with the Qur’an and Sunnah. He changed many of his views and attitudes over the course of his lifetime, and this process of revising sunni views and attitudes has continued after him. The change of view of Khalifatul-Masih II r.a. with regards to flogging for zina (adultery or fornication) rather than stoning is one such view which the Promised Messiah a.s. had not changed in his own lifetime. The motto of ‘love for all, hatred for none’ introduced by Khalifatul-Masih III r.a. is another such view which is closer to the Qur’an than in the writings of the Promised Messiah a.s. himself. So we should continue our journey of approaching even closer to the letter and spirit of the Noble Qur’an, reviewing old notions, and discarding any erroneous views, beliefs and attitudes, for in this lies the future progress of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.

The Promised Messiah a.s. was instructed: 

“Construct the ark under Our supervision and according to Our revelation.” [Tadhkirah p. 214, Haqqani-Taqrir bar Waqi‘ah Wafat-e-Bashir, December 1, 1888, Majmu‘a-e-Ishtiharat, vol. 1, p. 188 and Sabz Ishtihar, p. 24, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 2, p. 470]

So, this admonishment against arrogance was one of such commands for the Community. If members abide by it, and strive towards humility, there can be hope for a return to progress in harmony and an increase in religious knowledge and right guidance. If however, a deliberate war is waged against the express command of Allah Ta’aala Himself, as was/is done by some of those in authority, the only realistic conclusion that a believer would draw is that it was manifest kufr, i.e. an outright rejection of a Divinely revealed express command, and an act of intense disobedience, rebelliousness and outrageous iniquity (fisq). One ought to keep in mind that arrogance (takabbur) and disbelief (kufr) lead to a decline rather than the progress of what was essentially founded to be a spiritual community.

Marriage & Taqwa:

The Noble Prophet s.a. is reported to have emphasised the importance of giving preference to religious factors (i.e. religion/faith, taqwa/piety) over whatever worldly factors (i.e. family status, beauty, wealth) or physical attributes (such as appearance, skin colour, stature, build) and mental attributes (intelligence, education, qualifications) that may be taken by people into consideration for decisions on prospective marital partners. This is in keeping with the Qur’anic emphasis on taqwa (piety), faith and good deeds, to the extent of a near total absence of the mention of physical attributes. 

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II r.a. states in this regards: 

The first rule laid down by Islam in this connection is that this relationship ought to be based primarily on moral considerations and not on considerations of beauty, wealth, or rank. The Holy  Quran warns those who are about to marry to consider what effect the contemplated union would have on the purity of their lives, and what sort of legacy in the form of issue it is likely to leave behind. The Holy Prophet s.a. says, Some people marry for beauty, others for rank, and others for wealth, but you should marry a good and pious woman.’ [Bukhari, Kitab-al-Nikah]

[The hadith was narrated by al-Bukhaari (4802) and Muslim (1466), viz: 

https://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/28:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.”]

This alone should be the true basis of marriage, and if it is not kept in view in the choice of a mate, the relationship between husband and wife is not likely to run a smooth course and the issue of the union is likely to suffer. … The first rule laid down by Islam, therefore, is that in the choice of a mate greater weight ought to be attached to the qualities of the head and the heart than to the external circumstances of looks, wealth or rank. Islam does not despise the latter, but they ought not to constitute the primary basis of marriage. … If all marriages were based upon this principle there would at once be a moral revolution in the world, and the issue of such marriages would be far more amenable to moral and spiritual discipline and development.” [Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam, p. 235,236]

I am not quite sure why Khalifatul-Masih II r.a. included ‘qualities of the head’, but other than that, the quoted advise from Khalifa II r.a. is in line with what the Qur’an, to my knowledge, states, and what is reported as being the strong advice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. It may be that Khalifa II r.a. had in mind the Qur’anic advice on using one’s ‘aql or faculty of reason, though these are not mentioned by the Prophet s.a. in connection with marriage in what has been conveyed to us.

In any case, here is a list of verses that a search for the ‘root ʿayn qāf lām (ع ق ل)  in the Qur’an, produces: 

http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Eql

Thus, one ought to promote an emphasis on moral and spiritual or religious values, in keeping with the Qur’an, and the advice of the Prophet s..a which is in accord with the Qur’an. Though the Prophet s.a. may have referred to the considerations on which a woman may be married, but the same appears to apply to men, in that a woman should also give preference to factors related to the Deen (i.e. the Religion of Islam). This is in accordance with the verbal promise made when giving the pledge of allegiance, which the Promised Messiah a.s. included, that one would give precedence to the Deen (i.e. religious considerations) over the dunya (i.e. worldly considerations). It is further corroborated by a verse of the Qur’an in connection with marriage:

[Q. 5:6] “… And whoever rejects the faith, his work has doubtless come to naught, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.”

i.e. whoever rejects the requirements of faith when forming a relationship with the opposite gender, and gives preference to, and falls for, worldly desires, e.g. by committing fornication, will be among the losers. However, there is to be absolutely no compulsion in religion, and the duty of believers is to remind others to uphold taqwa.

There is further discussion in the article on ‘Human Relations & Diet’ on the religious factors that should be taken into consideration when considering marriage (and other human relations), which I would recommend reading.

[19:77] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance.

[20:48] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.