Salafism or the Quest for Purity
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, may Allah be pleased with him, has after careful study of various dictionaries stated that the word Wahee means:. The literal meaning of the word Ilhaam is to swallow or drink.
But when this word is used for God it would mean Wahee, revelation or sending word. According to Lassaan-al-Arab, the word Wahee was in common use, but later on began to be used alongside Ilhaam. The lexicographer, Abu Ishaaq says that Wahee is to tell something in a secret manner and for the same reason Ilhaam also carries the same meanings.
Taj-ul-Uroos, v. From this brief research it becomes clear that Wahee or Ilhaam are both used for the converse of God Almighty with men. It is called Wahee or Ilhaam because it descends upon the heart of the person concerned and it descends very quickly and with a glory of its own, and even though other people may be near the recipient, they remain unaware of what is happening.
Muslim scholars have attempted to differentiate between Wahee and Ilhaam. They claim that the message that comes to a Prophet is Wahee and that which comes to others is Ilhaam. The Holy Quran does not make any such distinction. Hazrat Shah Ismail the martyr writes:. Ilhaam is the same as is received by the prophets, may God grant them peace, and it is also called Wahee.
If such messages come to other people, they would be called tahdeeth. In the Holy Quran the process of Ilhaam has also been called Wahee, whether these come to a prophet or a saint. Mansab-e-Imaamat, Urdu Translation, page The mystics of the middle ages, in order to make a distinction, used to call the messages to the Prophets by the word Wahee, and the same received by non-prophets as Ilhaam. But the majority of the Muslim scholars prefer to use both of the terms exactly as they are used in the Quran and make no distinction at all.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, while explaining the above, has stated that Wahee and Ilhaam are both one and the same and there is no distinction between them. The Sufis used to make this distinction; the messages they themselves received from God were called Ilhaam so that the common people might not misunderstand and go astray. Otherwise, there is no distinction between Wahee and Ilhaam.
Prophets of Islam
Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Chapter Al-Zilzal, p. In Quranic terminology the word Wahee is very common. All the revelations to the prophets as well as to the saints and the righteous are called Wahee and this word is used in the Holy Quran no less than seventy times. For instance, it is used in the case of the mother of Prophet Moses. Similarly the word Ilhaam is also used in the same sense; both these words carry the same meanings and it would not be wrong to use these two for the same purpose.
The literal meaning of Wahee and Ilhaam make it clear that these are used for the Word of God. This is how God Almighty descends to converse with His servants. Now arises the question — How does He actually talk to His own servants? It must be understood that God Almighty has mentioned clearly in the Holy Quran:. Surely, He is High, Wise. Man, therefore, could be exalted through converse with God Almighty in three ways: i By direct revelation. The Holy Quran abounds with numerous examples of all these three types of messages.
Both these types of revelations — the one direct and the other from behind a veil are also mentioned in several verses of the Holy Quran. Both the types are received by the prophets as well as other righteous people. In short all the above mentioned three methods in which God Almighty converses with His servants are described. This Wahee is of many kinds also.
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It has now become quite clear that Wahee and Ilhaam are experiences that are hidden from the common eye. Only persons of the higher order can experience this phenomenon, and it is only they who are qualified to describe them. The Promised Messiah as described this in the following manner, adding that revelation was of five types.
He writes:. The first type of Ilhaam is the one when God Almighty wishes to convey His message to His servant; He does it very softly and sometimes in quite the opposite manner — very harshly. He allows the words to be uttered by the tongue of the recipient in a state of slumber. The words of the revelation fall on the tongue like the hail falling on a hard surface. Such type of revelations have a grandeur and strange kind of awe.
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Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya, footnote pp. The second type is that which I would call Ilhaam because of its wonderful qualities. Whenever God Almighty wishes to answer any supplication immediately, or even without supplication, a strange type of unconsciousness takes hold of His servant in which the recipient completely forgets his own existence and is so submerged in that state that he feels as if he is drowning in a pool of water. But when he recovers from that state he feels the reverberations of what had happened to him. As this reverberation subsides he feels strange and sweet words on his tongue, and that state is not possible to describe.
Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya page This means that all of a sudden a word or a sentence is inspired. But this type is not as wonderful as the one already described. As a matter of fact, slumber is an essential part for this type of revelation. Very often it may descend when one is fully awake and it so appears that someone has suddenly infused the word into the mind of the hearer, or has spattered the words over him. The recipient is fully awake at the time and feels as if an idea or a sentence has been suddenly thrust into his mind and has a strong feeling that it is from God. Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya, page The fourth type: Sometimes one receives glad tidings through dreams which always prove true, or sometimes an angel appears in the form of a human being and delivers the Divine Message; sometimes the message is seen written on a wall or on a piece of paper or stone etc.
Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya, footnote page The fifth type. On the contrary one hears a distinct sound coming from behind a curtain. The voice is very sweet and ecstatic and leaves the recipient in a state of highly pleasant feeling. When the recipient first hears it, he begins to wonder from where the voice has come, and he turns around to see who is talking so sweetly. Then he suddenly realises that it was an angel who spoke. Now we come to the third question which is: Are revelations received in actual words?
A part of the answer to this has been given already while discussing the second type of revelation. To make the point more clear, it should be understood that God the Omnipotent, Who granted man the power of speech and taught him a language to express himself, is Himself capable of speaking and has full command over each and every tongue. From the earliest time He has been speaking to His prophets in actual words. The short sighted philosopher would raise the question here that if He was capable of speaking, He could be circumvented also.
Moreover if He has no tongue, how could He manage to speak? It is quite true that God, like His creatures is not confined within any space like human beings. But He is Omnipotent and circumvents everything. He hears, but He has no physical ears. In the same way He can speak, but He has no tongue of flesh. The philosopher should consider the fact that having granted man the power of speech, how could God be devoid of this attribute? Our God is an ever-living God.
He is omnipotent, and speaks to those whom He loves, and grants them His enervating powers and qualities. No doubt every aspect of revelations is a source of the greatest blessings for man. But the revelation that comes in actual words supersedes all pleasures and is the source of the highest spiritual blessings. These messages are preserved for the benefit of mankind and consist of prophecies, which are the most important means of proving the truth to those who do not believe in the existence of God Almighty.
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The dissenters are challenged to produce similar predictions if they can. Revelations, therefore, do occur in words and such revelations are the most blessed phenomena for mankind. The Promised Reformer, the second successor to the Promised Messiah has stated:. Revelation which is received in actual words is the best type of all revelations and there cannot be any doubt in its truth.
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The revelation, the authenticity of which the recipient could vouch fully every word and every vowel with full certainty, would definitely be taken to have come from God Almighty Himself. That type of revelation supersedes every other type. Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Chapter Al-Zilzal, p Those who do not believe in verbal revelation deny the Omnipotent God altogether. They insist that the so-called revelation is no more than an inspiration of the mind.
These are the Brahmu Samaj, and they are very proud of their stand in this respect. Similarly the Bahai people hold the same view. One of the Bahai divines has stated:. He Muhammad Ali Bab began to call his own writings as revealed and claimed these to be the word of God Almighty. But a close investigation has disclosed that in actual fact he had himself never claimed to have received any revelation through any angel. Bab-al-Hayat, p.
If one gave deep thought to this matter, one is bound to realise that those who deny this system of divine revelation are themselves totally devoid of this great blessing of God. Verbal revelation is a very clear proof of the existence of God and His omniscience.
Revelation is the blessing on which stands the structure of faith. Related to the subject on which I am talking today is the question: When, according to Islam, did the system of revelation start? The Holy Quran gives the answer to this question. It tells us that the system of revelation commenced side by side with the growth of mankind. The need for guidance and instruction has been ingrained in man and this is his second nature; he feels restless unless he receives the delightful and heart warming talk from God Almighty — his Creator and the Creator of everything else.
The relation between man and his Creator was established firmly through revelation only. Holy Quran, Chapter 7, Verse The Promised Messiah as has said:. It is Thou alone who has imbued the soul with Thine love;That is the reason why we hear all this furor of His lovers everywhere.