This is how one can receive and experience the Holy Spirit in this age too

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Author of the Book Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya from where this passage is taken)

“It is evident that man strives arduously and consistently, fully and all the time, to safeguard and protect only such a thing in whose loss he envisages his own ruin and destruction. For example, a wayfarer traveling through a barren wilderness, wherein there is no hope of finding water or food for hundreds of miles, will guard his belongings of food and water as dearly as his own life, for he knows that losing them would mean death for him. Thus, the people who safeguard their Prayers with the same care, and do not abandon them even if it means the loss of possessions or honour or even incurring someone’s ire, and are anxious lest they miss their Prayers so that they all but die for the sake of Prayer and cannot for a moment bear to be oblivious to the remembrance of God, such are the people who in fact consider worship and remembrance of God to be the essential nourishment on which their life depends.

This state comes about when God loves them and a burning flame of His love — which can be called the spirit for their spiritual being — descends upon their hearts and gives them a second life. This spirit brings light and life to their entire spiritual being. In this state their devotion to the remembrance of God is not out of artificiality or pretence; but rather God, who has made the physical being of man dependent on food and water, links their spiritual life, which is so dear to them, to the food of His remembrance. Hence, they love this food more than they love physical food and water, and are fearful lest they lose it. All this is the result of the spirit that is put into them like a flame, which inebriates them with the love of God’s love. Therefore, they do not wish to be separated from His remembrance even for a single moment.

They suffer and face misfortunes, but do not wish to part from it even for a single moment. They keep an eye on their self, and protect and watch over their Prayers. And all this comes naturally to them, for God has made the sustenance of His loving remembrance — which is called Prayer in other words — essential for them, and by inspiring them with His personal love has bestowed on them an exquisite pleasure in His remembrance. And so God’s remembrance becomes as dear to them as their own life — nay, even dearer than their own life. Their personal love for God is the new spirit that descends on their hearts like a flame and makes their prayers and remembrance like unto sustenance for them. Therefore, they believe firmly that their lives are dependent, not on water and bread, but on Prayer and remembrance of Allah.

Thus the much-loved remembrance of Allah, which is called Prayer, becomes their true sustenance without which they cannot survive at all. They protect and keep guard over it just as a traveller in a barren and waterless wasteland watches over his belongings of the few pieces of bread, and treasures the meagre amount of water in his sheepskin as life itself.

God the Supreme Bestower has decreed this stage also for the spiritual progress of man, and it is the last stage of the prevalence and predominance of personal love and adulation. And in reality at this stage the love-filled remembrance of God — which, in the terminology of the Shariah [Islamic Law], is called the Prayer — takes the place of food. Indeed, time and again he wishes to sacrifice his own physical being for the sake of this sustenance, without which he cannot live, just as a fish cannot live without water, and he considers even a moment of separation from God as his death. His soul remains ever prostrate upon the threshold of God, all his comfort lies in God, and he is certain that if he were to be separated from the remembrance of God even for the blinking of an eye, it would be the end of him.

Just as food rejuvenates the body and grants vigour to the eyes, ears, and other faculties, in the same way, at this stage, the remembrance of God Almighty — that is inspired by the fervour of love and adoration — helps to sharpen one’s spiritual faculties. The eyes are thus blessed with very clear and subtle visionary powers, and the ears are able to hear discourse of God Almighty, and those discourses flow through one’s tongue with great purity, clarity, and exquisiteness, and one also continuously experiences true dreams, which come true as clearly as the breaking of dawn. By virtue of the relationship of pure love which they have with The Lord of Honour, they are granted many dreams that bear glad tidings. This is the stage where the believer feels that the love of God acts for him like bread and water. This new birth takes place when the spiritual body is already fully developed. It is then that the spirit, which is a flame of God’s personal love, descends upon the heart of such a believer, when all of a sudden a power from on high carries him far and above his station of humanity. This is the stage which, in spiritual terms, is called Khalq-e-Akhar [‘Another Creation’].

At this stage God Almighty causes a burning flame of His love — which in other words is called the ‘Spirit’ — to descend upon the believer’s heart, and removes all his darkness, impurities, and shortcomings. As soon as the Spirit is breathed into him, the beauty that was hitherto at a lower level now reaches its climax. It creates a spiritual radiance and at the same time removes the uncleanliness of evil life. The believer now feels that a new spirit has entered him that was not present before, and with its coming he experiences a wonderful serenity and contentment. And the personal love of God gushes forth like a fountain and irrigates the plant of servitude. The fire that had till then produced little heat, begins to burn in full flame at this stage, and consumes all the filth of the human self, and hands over its control to God. The fire encompasses all the organs, and he becomes like the iron rod that is heated by the fire to such a degree that it turns red, indistinguishable from the fire itself.

Such a believer begins to show signs and characteristics of Divinity, just as the iron rod at this stage exhibits the qualities and effects of fire. But this does not mean that the believer has become God. The fact is that love of Allah has the quality of transforming the outward human self into its own form, while inwardly there still remains the inherent human frailty. At this stage, for the believer, God is the bread upon which depends his life, and God also becomes the water by drinking which he can save himself from death, and God is also for him the cool breeze that brings solace to his heart.

Hence, it would not be improper to say, by way of metaphor, that God at this stage enters into the believer and penetrates into his every fibre, making his heart into His throne. So the believer does not see by his own spirit but rather he sees by the Spirit of God, and it is by His Spirit that he hears and speaks and attacks his enemies. This is so because he is at this stage at the station of self-annihilation and destruction of his own being, and the Spirit of God manifests itself upon him with His personal love and grants him a second life. This is the moment that he becomes the spiritual embodiment of the verse……

ثُمَّ اَنْشَاْنٰهُ خَلْقًا اٰخَرَ ؕ فَتَبٰرَكَ اللّٰهُ اَحْسَنُ الْخٰلِقِيْنَ

It means: ‘Having created him once, We developed man into another creation.’ The word ‘another’ is meant to convey that this birth is so unfathomable as to be beyond the confines of human intelligence and very far from his understanding. In other words, the spirit that is infused into the body after its completion, both in a spiritual and physical sense, is so profound that all the philosophers and materialists are left to wonder about its nature. When they could not find their way to the reality, they started speculating. Some went so far as to deny the existence of the soul altogether, while others declared it to be eternal and uncreated. What Allah the Exalted says here is that the ‘spirit’ is also a creation of God, but it is beyond worldly comprehension and just as the philosophers of this world are unaware of the spirit that is bestowed by God upon the physical human form at the sixth stage of its being, so are they devoid of the knowledge of the spirit that the true believer is granted at the sixth stage of his spiritual being and they have adopted varying creeds in this regard as well. Many started to worship the people who had been bestowed this spirit and declared them to be eternal and uncreated and deified them. And many denied the very existence of people who reach this stage, and refused to believe that man is even granted such a spirit.

But an intelligent person will readily understand that as man is the best of creation, and as God has — by granting him eminence over all birds and beasts of the earth, and by bestowing upon him mastery over all of them, and by having granted him intelligence and understanding, and having infused him with a thirst for gaining His cognizance — shown that man was created for the purpose of loving God. Why then should it be denied that having reached the stage of personal love with God Almighty, he should also progress to such a stage that God’s love falling upon his love in the form of a Spirit should remove all his weaknesses? As regards the sixth stage of the spiritual being, Allah the Exalted has said:

وَ الَّذِيْنَ هُمْ عَلٰى صَلَوٰتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُوْنَ

And who are strict in the observance of their Prayers (Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:10)

Accordingly, man should demonstrate eternal obedience and earnest supplication and servitude so that in this way he may fulfil the purpose of his creation, as Allah the Exalted says:

وَ مَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَ الْاِنْسَ اِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوْنِ


Meaning: ‘I have created men and the jinn for the very purpose of worship.’

Of course, such worship and constant presence before the Lord of Honour is not possible without personal love for Him. And by love here is not meant a one-sided affair; rather, what is meant is both the love of the Creator and the love of creation so that the fire of lightening that falls upon the man who is ready to die and which also emanates from within such a man at such a time, should burn all human weaknesses, and joining together, they should take control of his whole spiritual being.

This is that perfect way in which man can, completely and at each and every appropriate occasion, fulfil his trusts and pledges that I have outlined while describing the fifth stage of the spiritual being. The only difference is that while at the fifth stage man fulfils his obligations and pledges to God and His creatures out of taqwa [righteousness], at this stage he does so on account of the personal love that he has now developed for God, and which has also evoked in him the love of the creatures of God.

Such people fulfil all their obligations naturally and in the most becoming manner due to the Spirit that God has bestowed upon them. They are thus granted spiritual beauty — which is akin to man’s physical beauty — to a greater extent, because at the fifth stage the Spirit which is born out of personal love for God has not yet entered man, and so the beauty is not manifested to the fullest extent. But once the Spirit has entered the being, the beauty reaches its climax. It goes without saying that the splendour of beauty manifested by a dead body cannot equal that manifested by a handsome living being.

As I have already stated, man possesses two-fold beauty: One, the beauty of conduct; that is to say, that a man in the discharge of all the trusts and covenants of God should be careful not to overlook anything connected with them, as suggested by the expression رٰعُوْنَ [ra‘un — ‘watchful’] in the Holy Quran. It is equally important that man remain vigilant about fulfilling his trusts and pledges to God’s creatures. In short, he should abide by taqwa in fulfilling his obligations to God and His creatures. This is the beauty of conduct or spiritual beauty which becomes apparent at the fifth stage of the spiritual being but does not yet show its full brilliance, whereas at the sixth stage when the birth has been perfected with the infusion of the Spirit, this beauty manifests itself in all its splendour and glory. And it should be remembered that in the sixth stage of the spiritual being, the Spirit refers to God’s personal love which descends like a flame upon man’s personal love for Him, and drives away all inner darkness, and grants spiritual life, and is necessarily accompanied by all-encompassing help from the Holy Spirit also.

The second kind of beauty that attends man’s creation is physical beauty. Although both kinds of beauty begin to manifest themselves at the fifth stage of the spiritual and physical being, their true splendour and glory is only manifested after the advent of the Spirit. In the same way, as the soul enters the physical body after it has been perfected, so does the Spirit enter the spiritual being after it has been perfected; that is to say, when man takes upon himself the yoke of the Shariah and is prepared to abide by all the divine restrictions and prohibitions with effort and striving. Through practicing the norms of the Shariah and abiding by the injunctions of the Book of Allah, he becomes worthy that the Spirit of God should attend to him. But above all is the fact that through his personal love for God he becomes eligible for Almighty God’s personal love, which is white as snow and sweet as honey.

As I have already stated, the spiritual being starts with the state of humbleness, and reaches its perfection at the sixth stage of spiritual development; that is, at the stage when the spiritual body having attained perfection, the flame of the personal love of God falls like a Spirit on man’s heart imparting to him a perpetual consciousness of the Divine Presence. It is then that the spiritual beauty shows its fullest manifestation, but this beauty which is spiritual — which may be called the beauty of conduct — is the beauty which, by virtue of its strong powers of attraction, is far greater than the physical beauty of a person.

The physical beauty of a person may excite the ephemeral love of, say, one or two persons, and will soon decline; its attraction being extremely weak. But the spiritual beauty which has been called the beauty of conduct is so strong and powerful in its attraction that it draws an entire world to itself — and every particle of heaven and earth is drawn towards it. This is also, in reality, the philosophy behind the acceptance of prayers; that is to say, when a man possessed of such spiritual beauty, into whom the spirit of the love of God has entered, prays for some impossible or extremely difficult matter, and exerts himself so completely in that prayer, then, as his being is equipped with spiritual beauty, so, by God’s permission and by His command, every particle of the universe, is drawn towards him, and there come into being such means as are sufficient to ensure his success.

Experience and the Holy Book of God Almighty confirm that every single particle of the world has a natural relation of deep love with such a person, and his prayers draw all those particles towards him, as a magnet draws a piece of iron to itself. So it is that extraordinary phenomena — that find no mention in science or philosophy — come about as a consequence of this attraction. And this attraction is natural and inherent: Ever since the All-Powerful Creator designed the material world with particles, He has placed in each particle this attraction, and every particle is a true lover of spiritual beauty as is every blessed soul. This is so because it is through spiritual beauty that the manifestation of God takes place. It was regarding the same spiritual beauty that God said:

اسْجُدُوْا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوْۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبْلِيْسَ

‘Submit to Adam,’ and they all submitted except Iblis (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:35)

And even today there is many an Iblis that does not recognize this spiritual beauty, but it continues to perform great feats. Nuh [Noah] possessed this very beauty, and for its sake the Lord of Honour and Glory destroyed all the disbelievers with the calamity of the deluge. Then, after this, Musa [Moses] also came with the same spiritual beauty, and after a period of suffering lasting a few days, it led to the downfall of Pharaoh. And then at long last came the Lord of the Prophets, the Best of Creation, our lord and master, the Chosen One, Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, with the sublime spiritual beauty of the highest grandeur, in whose praise it would be enough to quote the noble verse:

دَنَا فَتَدَلّٰى فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ اَوْ اَدْنٰى (Surah an-Najm, 53:9–10)

That is to say, that Prophet drew very near to the Presence of Allah, and then he leaned towards the creation, and thus fulfilled both the obligations; viz. obligations to God and to His creation, and manifested both kinds of spiritual beauty.”


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