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Articles

Teachings of Imam Mehdi


Ritualistic Practice and Adopting Spirituality

Friday, February 21, 2014


The following is the transcript of His Holiness Younus AlGohar's speech (video above).

There are people in every religion who strictly follow the mainstream set of beliefs, very orthodox. Their practice is not very profound; they just follow the rituals of the religion. They are not in the pursuit of obtaining God’s nearness or adopting the spiritual path of purification, mortification and purgation. They are just superficial practitioners of the religion. They are not really into what they are doing; they just go for the face-value. And then, there are always some people in all religions who want to go beyond heaven and the beautiful damsels in the heaven - who want to go for God and love. A majority of people in all religions are very strict, superficial and ritualistic, and they follow the Black Letter Law. They do not want to dig out the real meaning of the Holy Scriptures. They just want to do what is easiest for them to do. Going to the church every Sunday is not a difficult thing to do, but when you adopt spiritual path, it is more than a full-time job; it’s a target and a lifetime aim. One has to completely dedicate himself in purifying and mortifying himself.

Adopting spirituality is more difficult than becoming a hermit; when you become a hermit, you stop meeting people and you make the jungle your abode. You don’t want to see human beings; you live a very solitary, lonely life. But, when you want to adopt spirituality, then hermitage appears to be less difficult, because adopting spirituality is changing your inner and out, changing your thought-process, changing your behaviour and changing your entire system. The source of enjoyment changes and the source of peace [changes]. For example, some people become peaceful when they see money and some people are not peaceful when their pocket is empty; for them, the source of peace is money. But for some people, their pockets are full but their hearts are empty of peace. Some people have everything, every single luxury of the world under their belt, but even then they seem to be in the wilderness; they do not find peace. So, the source is different. Some peace is very superficial; that peace is money, properties and material wealth. But then, some will find peace only when their souls are awakened and they have the content of the heart; they will have the content of the heart when their heart is enlightened and their heart has found its inhabitant.

Islam itself is a beautiful religion. The principles of Islam are the principles of every messenger. When Adam came, he talked about good things; he taught people to love God and humanity. Then Abraham taught people to love God, love humanity and respect all. Moses was the liberator; he liberated people from the tyranny of Pharaoh, he asked people to recognise God in their lives and to dedicate to God in worship and love. Then we have Jesus. Jesus was the Divine Example on two legs, he was the Walking God. He talked about Divine Love. Jesus was the first of all messengers who exhibited gallantry, bravery and he was 'Dabangg' (a brave heart); he sort of taught rebellion against the ritualistic approach to God. He said, 'How can you find God in a building that you built with your own hands? Turn your heart into the temple of God.' He said, 'Love your God your Lord with all your heart, with all your soul.' In a nutshell, the teachings of Jesus circumbulated around one foremost and principle reality, and this reality was God's love.

It is so pleasant to see familiarities between the doctrine of Jesus and the doctrine of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi.

His Divine Grace Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi says, 'A dog is better than a man who doesn't have God's love in his heart.' He said, 'A Christian says that he is the best, Jews say they are the best, Muslims say they are the best; but Gohar Shahi says, "The best is the one who has God's love in his heart, even if he doesn’t follow any religion."'

In simple words, Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi has exhibited to the world the true significance of God's love. He has highlighted God’s love, whereas in the religions and Holy Scriptures, religions had the upper hand and God's love was not dominant. God's love was not mentioned with so much dominance, it was not highlighted; it was not the prime objective in any religion. There are so many different types of directives from God and so many different objectives in the religion; however, love is one of them! However, Jesus and Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi have nullified all else and gave all significance to divine love.

His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi said, 'If you do not love God, then your religious practice is futile; and if you love God, then it doesn't matter whether you follow a religion or you don't.'

Now, HDE Gohar Shahi is changing the way we think. And this message of HDE Gohar Shahi is not designed to cater the needs of one particular group of nation or religion. The message has so much absorbency in itself - it is so universal and so great that it can absorb all religions. The message is so profound. Look at the depth of this message! If you have God's love in your heart, then you are the best! You are better than those who practise a religion but even then they do not love God! It is like if somebody works eight hours a day, yet he is hand-to-mouth and then there is a guy who doesn’t work at all, but his pockets are always full. You can easily say that this unemployed man whose pockets are full all the time is better than those who work all the time yet they are crying and are always hand-to-mouth. We understand that you must work in order to support yourself financially; if that work is not earning you enough money so that you can support yourself and your family, then the one who is unemployed and whose pockets are full is better than them. Similarly, these religions were established for people so that they practise these religions and out of this practice, as a result, they manage to love God.

Now, if you practise a religion and this practice doesn’t lead you to love God, then this practice is futile and useless. Why is this practice of the religion not leading you to love God eventually? In the olden days, prophets and messengers were sent to establish these religions. The design and plan from God was to let these people exercise, practise and observe the Black Letter Law; they should practise this religion and this will lead them to love God eventually. But now, the Lord said that all religions and all Holy Scriptures have been subjected to a lot of alterations and adulterations. So many things have been modified in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is not the same Bible anymore; the Quran is not the same Quran which was revealed onto the heart of Prophet Mohammad. When the religions and Holy Scriptures are messed with and tampered with by half-baked scholars - there are half-baked scholars in all religions- for example, we have this creed system in Christianity. The Church of England, from time to time, they sit together and say, 'From now on this practice will be irreligious and this practice will be banned.' What was not part of the religion at the time of Jesus, they sit together and under the creed system they say, 'From today, this will be considered as religious practice.' For example, the Church of England, they have done so many things which were not part of Christianity at the time.

In a similar way, Islam has gone through that phase and they also have this creed system now, which they call 'Ijtehaad'. Their statements contradict a lot. For example, their principle belief is, 'Nothing is outside Quran. All sorts of knowledge is found in the Quran,' and then they say, 'What is not in Quran, what is not said by the Prophet, then we will do Ijtehaad on this.' But you said everything is in the Quran; there is no need for Ijtehaad then! Ijtehaad in Islam is the same thing as creed in Christianity. You are sitting together to take a decision on something which doesn’t belong to you. These religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - belong to the messenger who established it. If you want to bring some changes, consult the messenger; but you don’t have the approach and you are not connected. When this happened, when they didn’t find proper instructions about certain things in the Bible or Quran, they did not think, 'We should have approach Jesus or Mohammad.' Rather, they thought, 'Okay, there are no clear-cut instructions on this topic in the Quran or Bible. Let's sit together and make a decision.' This is where they went wrong.

When this happened, the Bible was adulterated. The Quran were adulterated – when we talk about modification in the Quran, we do not mean the text has been changed. We do not say the text has been changed, rather, we say the meaning has been tampered with. Now, it doesn’t matter whether the text was modified or the meaning was misinterpreted, because if the meaning is misinterpreted and you fail to understand what God meant by what you are reading today, then it doesn't really matter whether the text or the meaning was changed. In a similar way, the Quran has been greatly misinterpreted. Why? Because in order to understand God's words, you need a Divine Teacher! You need somebody who is in connected with the messenger, because God directly spoke with him and told him the meaning of the Bible and the Quran. Jesus knows what the meaning of the teachings in the Bible is and only those will know about the teachings who are connected to Jesus. If somebody is not connected to Jesus, he will not come to know the real meaning of the Bible.

In a similar way, there are Sufis who were connected to God. From time to time, they gave people the true interpretation of the Quran; with that, they were able to enlighten their souls and approach God. Those who were able to do this never ever hated anybody, they never ever took it to the swords and they never cut the throats of non-Muslims. Whoever appeared to them, they blessed them. Their message was love. There were so many Muslim Sufis and they loved Christians and Jews the same way they loved Muslims. They did not have any grudge against non-Muslims. Being a non-Muslim is not a sin! Being a Christian is not a sin! Being a Jew is not a sin because Jews did not become Jews on their own. Christians in America and England say that there are three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All the prophets unanimously believe that Abraham is the father - and we have the same belief system. We believe Abraham is the father of all the prophets. And, to your utter surprise, the Quran says the same thing. We say, 'Abrahamic faith,' and the Quran says, 'Millat-e-Ibrahim.' Muslims now hate Jews because of misinterpretation of the Quran. If the prophet of Islam had taught Muslims to hate Jews, then they would not send salutations and benedictions on the progeny of Abraham and Abraham himself during their worship.

All Muslims go to Mecca for annual pilgrimage and they circumbulate around Kaaba, the black cubicle. In that holy place, most of the things belong to Abraham. For example, there is a passage upon which everybody has to run; it is a half-mile passage called 'Safa Marwa.' All Muslims have to run on this. Why? Because Ismail's mother, Hagar, was holding Ismail and she was running on that passage searching for water. In order to celebrate that moment, God has imposed doing that running bit on that particular spot for all Muslims. This is in the memory of Abraham’s concubine, Hagar. And then there are three different places in Mecca where there are statues of the devil; they go before these statues and stone the statue. Why? Because those three spots were the posts where Abraham was met by the devil. So, in this annual pilgrimage to Mecca, 90% of the worship is pertaining to Abraham.

Muslims have misinterpreted the Quran; then you say that Jews are your enemy? This is so wrong! And then in Quran, God said, 'I have prescribed the pilgrimage of this house, Kaaba, on all human beings.' According to the Quran, all human beings should go on pilgrimage to Kaaba, but Muslims of Saudi Arabia do not let anybody enter. There is a border, a point outside Mecca; from beyond that point, no non-Muslims can go [there]. This is because of the misinterpretation of the Quran. At the time of Prophet Mohammad, even the Kuffar (infidels) used to go to the pilgrimage of Kaaba - and now you do not allow non-Muslims. There is a difference between non-Muslim and Kuffar; if somebody is a Kafir, he/she rejects God. If he/she rejects God, he/she will not accept Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any religion. But those who consider themselves to be Jews or Christians, it simply means they believe in God - so not all non-Muslims are Kafir. Those who practise a religion and that religion was prescribed by their messengers and prophets, they are not Kafireen; they are as good as Muslims (if Muslims are good).

The Quran has been tampered with misinterpretation and the Traditions of the Prophet have been tampered with misquotation. Now, it is impossible to gain any benefits out of the practice of the religion which has been tampered with; therefore, the religions have lost their significance and credentials. Today, none of the religions have any credibility in terms of connecting people with God.

Therefore, HDE Gohar Shahi has done a favour upon humanity, declaring, 'All you want to do is to be able to love God. Forget about the religion if you don’t want to follow it. As long as you love God, it is enough for you.' 

So, our message is love - whether it is for Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or Jews. For example, people of Adam, they believe in Adam - but eventually, what is their target? To love and worship God. People of Abraham; you are a Jew, no problem; but what is the objective? The objective that that prophet came with is to enable you to love God and worship God. Same goes for the people of Moses, Jesus, and Prophet Mohammad. All these messengers and prophets came down on Earth with one objective: to help humanity love and worship God.

When the objective, destination and destiny is the same, why should we fight? Why should we kill each other?

These religions are classifications. Now all the religions have been messed up. Let's cut the crap out and get to the point. 'Cut the crap out,' means that these religions have become futile, let's get to the point. The point is: the purpose of all these religions was to make you love God. Now they have become futile, they have been tampered with and adulterated and they have become like a vehicle which cannot take you anywhere. So now, get to the point and the point is that you start loving God. The tools of love are here, the methodology has been sent. It’s not like we are just saying, 'love God,' and nobody knows how to love God. We are not asking people to do things they cannot do. We are asking people to have these tools, methodology and help on top of that - and become able to love God. 

It’s not about changing the religion; it’s about changing your heart.  

All the religions were worthy of respect, because whatever is in the Bible came from God. Whatever was in the book of Adam came from God and whatever is in Quran - it was brought by Prophet Mohammad - but it came from God. When all these books are the word of God, the same God, then why fight? That is the message.

Next time, I'll give you a comparative view of Muslim spirituality, Jewish spirituality and Christian spirituality. I have a Gnostic Bible. Gnostic knowledge is the knowledge which is from God and will take you to God; a knowledge that is from God for God.  In Christianity, there was a group of people and they called themselves Gnostics. In those times, if somebody said, 'I am not a Christian, I am a Gnostic,' it means, if you sit with them, you are sitting with God - because they had the knowledge that came to them from God so that that knowledge could take them to God. With the help of that knowledge, people recognised God and God's presence within them. This is the knowledge of Gnosticism. 

 

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