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Cult, By Definition & Practice
6th April 2016|ArticlesLecturesVideos

Cult, By Definition & Practice

After the rise of Islamist terrorist activities in the world, especially after the Paris Attacks, people of other religions are now speaking very low of Islam. Especially atheists are declaring Islam to be a bad religion and they also speak very low of Prophet Mohammad.

Messiah Foundation International’s Approach to Religions

Although myself, Messiah Foundation International and its members don’t follow any religion at all, the reason why we don’t follow Islam or any other religion is not because we hate them. It is simply because we have embraced spirituality, which is the core of every religion. If somebody passes derogatory remarks about a prophet, I personally dislike it – not for religious reasons, but because all the messengers and prophets were sent by God. What comes from God cannot be bad.

I personally believe that all these messengers and prophets who have been to this world were of great character.

They were at their best. They were as good as any human being can ever be good.

If somebody says that Prophet Mohammad was a paedophile, I strongly dislike it. In return, what I can say now is that the Prophet Mohammad came to this world almost 1400 years ago. Any allegation put on Prophet Mohammad will be without any evidence or proof. You do not know what kind of a man Prophet Mohammad was, so you will be putting an allegation which cannot be tried; it is completely invalid. You must have heard it from somewhere, whose source of information would be as bad as yours; you’re spreading the word without any evidence or concrete reason. Against any hearsay about Prophet Mohammad, I would prefer to adhere myself to authenticity of God.

If God has sent somebody, that somebody must be of a sublime character.

You haven’t seen Prophet Mohammad and I haven’t seen him. What you hear about him cannot be verified. I’m not making any claim, so there is no question of going into verification. What I am saying is that against hearsay, I would like to present my belief in God. I believe that Prophet Mohammad and all other prophets were sent by God. What comes from God cannot be wrong or bad, whether it is Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, David, Judah, Elijah or Enoch.

His Divine Eminence Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi has taught us to pay respect to all the prophets and messengers, no matter what religion they come from.

It is not only that. If some people believe some man to be a saint of God, for any reason – maybe they’re enjoying spiritual grace granted to them by that person, or maybe he has some spiritual insight – however we are doubtful about the status of this man, Lord Ra Riaz advises us not to talk ill of him. If we dislike him, we should keep our mouth shut. The most we can do is stop visiting that person. That is enough on our part to show our dislike for that person to the world. Just because we dislike him will not change any truth.

If some people believe in India that a man is a saint of God, who is a Hindu by religion, then we will have to tell ourselves, ‘Maybe. God can do anything and he an appoint anybody to be his friend.’

God cannot be restricted by limitations of any religion. Religions were sent and created by God. No religion is greater than God.

Whether it is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism or any other religion, religions are means to reach God. If you think that Islam is greater than God, then you live in fool’s paradise. If you think Prophet Mohammad is a paedophile and you’re prophet is very good, you do not know the truth. The same God who sent your prophet sent Prophet Mohammad too. In other words, you are suspecting that something bad can come from the same God you believe in.

I ask all of you not to defile, defame or talk bad about any religion, prophet, apostle, messenger, or saint of God. How do you know that somebody is a saint of God or not? Neither those whom we believe to be saints of God have any certificate from God that shows he is a verified saint of God, nor do those whom we doubt are saints of God (though some people believe them to be). We have no criterion given by any religion. If some people believe a man to be a saint of God, maybe he is.

We, the followers of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, have been advised by Lord Ra Riaz not to reject anybody of anything.

If a person is known to be or claims to be a saint of God, and we don’t like it, we have been advised to stop visiting that person rather than speaking ill of them.

What is a Cult?

Some people in the West, when they address Messiah Foundation International, use a word: cult. It is a really bad thing and I’m really hurt when people say it. Do such people know what a cult is?

A cult is a group of people who are very extremist. They are not just extremists, but they are emotionally and intellectually blind. They close their eyes, mind and heart; they blindly follow their leader.

If their leader says, ‘Die,’ they would commit suicide. If their leader asks them to do anything, they will do it, whether it is rational or irrational.

A cult is like a spiritual dictatorship. In a political dictatorship, the army takes over the country and democratic values are suspended. Nobody has any right to say anything; nobody’s voice is heard. The one person who is the chief executive of the army of that country becomes the dictator. Whatever he says is implemented in that country. A cult is a group of people in which all individuals who are in that group are intellectually and emotionally controlled by one man. Everybody is that group will blindly follow that man; they will never even think whether it is good or bad, they will simply do it. They are foolishly obedient to that spiritual dictator.

We are not a cult. We represent the spiritual doctrine of HDE Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, but that’s not it. We also represent the doctrine of love by Lord Jesus Christ. We also promote the amiable, lovable teachings of Prophet Mohammad. We also appreciate the teachings of Moses. We also talk about the Prophet Abraham.

MFI is not a personality cult. Our institution of spirituality, our regime of knowledge and doctrine of spirituality is not circumambulating around one person.

If we were a cult, we would not respect anybody, any prophet, any messenger or any law. We would become criminals. We would only and blindly follow one personality, but that’s not the case.

We promote love – whether the teachings of love come from Lord Ra Riaz, Lord Jesus Christ or Abraham. We don’t hate anybody.

Some Muslims talk bad about our Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, and we don’t react. All we say is, ‘If you don’t like Gohar Shahi, that is your own understanding.’ That is all. Nothing else.

We believe Lord Ra Riaz is our lord, our God. We love him, but we don’t force you to love him or believe in him. When we talk about Lord Ra Riaz in front of others, we are simply sharing our belief with them; we’re not implying to say that they also must believe.

We’re not giving away our lives for any reason. When you reach in your belief a degree where you are ready to give away your life, that is the beginning of a cult.

We do not discuss giving or taking the life of anybody. We are not talking about life; we are talking about love. We don’t ask our followers to give away their lives. We are giving life to this fake life.

We are introducing internal and eternal life with the touch of love.

When you become so consumed with your belief system, that you want to give away life for your belief, this is the point where intolerance reaches its peak. You think everybody else is a fool. However, we respect everybody.

Whether you go to a temple or mosque, we respect that. We don’t call anybody an infidel, because we don’t follow any religion. Infidel is a religious term.

We understand everybody believes in God in their own way. Expression of love can differ.

Some people express their love in a temple, others in a church, and some others may do that synagogue. Ultimately, they believe in God, so nobody is an infidel in our eyes. All are equal, all are children of God. God wants to love everybody. God is not restricted by any religion.

At the same time, I would like to say this truth to the world that although we do not practise any religion, we are spiritualists. We are humanitarians. We love humanity and we believe in equality among all human beings. We respect all religions, prophets, messengers, but we don’t follow any religion. We have found something greater than any religion had ever granted to the world. We are in the business of divine, unconditional love.

What we believe is: if you are bad, you are bad – whether you are a Hindu, Christian or Muslim. If you are good, you are good – whether you are a Christian, Hindu, Jew or Muslim.

If you are good or bad, it is not because of your religion; it is because of you.

The Wahhabi Cult of Hatred and Death

This is the definition of cult in context of a religious group. There are three main points about a cult.

Every cult is exclusive, authoritarian and secretive.  

Exclusiveness: all members have the same belief and they all think, ‘We are not just the best, we’re the only ones who follow the truth. Everybody else is wrong.’ A prime example of a group that holds such beliefs is Wahhabis. Wahhabis have introduced a more severe form of a cult.

The Wahhabi cult is a cult of death and hatred. They think that they are the only ones who know the truth and follow the truth, and that everybody else is not just wrong – they are infidels.

They think, ‘Those who are not part of our group do not have the right to live. They must be killed, their women must be taken captive and made into sex slaves, and their properties must be forfeited.’ This is what Wahhabism is.

Every single Wahhabi has the same mentality and belief.

Authoritarian: a basic principle of Wahhabism is that all Wahhabis must be totally loyal and obedient to their leader.

Once a piece of instruction is passed by their leader, they have to follow and execute it. In executing the instructions passed by their leader, they must forget everything else.

For example, In ISIS, in the cult of death and hatred, a father is forced to kill his own son. He must do it because the instructions come from the leader. If he doesn’t follow the instructions, he is also liable for the same penalty.

Thirdly, every cult is secretive.

For example, we have evangelical style of a Muslim group in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, known as Tableeghi Jamaat (a Wahhabi organisation). In the initial stage, they prepare you for a newer form of Islam which is fundamentally adulterated. It is a form of Islam in which the basic principles of the religion are totally adulterated and altered – and not just modified, but renewed and replaced.

You receive revelation of God through a prophet. Your belief in God is totally dependant upon your love for the prophet. However, in this newer form of Islam introduced by Wahhabis, you are no more required to show veneration, admiration or love for Prophet Mohammad. As a result, you never get connected to God. You’re as distant from God as you were before you accepted Islam.

Initially, when Tableeghi Jamaat works, they change the way you perceive the Prophet Mohammad. They change the way you perceive the religion of Islam, in which there are different scholars and saints of God. Before being influenced by Tableeghi Jamaat, when you would feel that you’re not connected to God, you would visit the saints of God and through them, you would want your messages to be sent to God.

In the initial stage of the Tableeghi Jamaat curriculum, they remove the mediumship between man and God, whether this mediumship is consisting of messengers or prophets, or it is consisting of saints of God.

So you are  academically, emotionally and intellectually being pushed away from God, rather than being brought closer to God. This is where your entire system of belief collapses.

You develop new, strange and bizarre concepts about the religion. You begin to think only you know the truth and the rest of the people are either infidels or they’re not pure. You think you are the purest one. This is the true, practical definition of a cult.

Messiah Foundation International is Not a Cult

Let’s talk about us.

Our Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi never drew attention of people towards him. He has always directed people towards God.

He has always made sure that nobody is worshipping him or admiring him; rather, he directed people towards God’s love. If Lord Ra Riaz was in the business of drawing people towards him, he would never ever ask us to respect Jesus, Abraham, Moses – or even respect a Hindu guru or saint that we don’t even know of, who lives in a remote village in India.

To say that MFI is a cult is a bizarre allegation; anybody even thinking of such an allegation should reflect on his own spiritual system. All such people who have these sort of ideas are atheists.

We believe in God. We believe that everybody who believes in God is a good person. Whether that person believes in God through Sikhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism or any other religion, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he believes in God.

Whether you believe in God through Islam or Christian is of no significance; the primary issue is the belief in God and how you believe in God is the secondary issue.

If somebody doesn’t believe in God, it is none of our concern. We are only concerned that we believe in God. We appreciate it when we see others that believe in God. If somebody doesn’t believe in God, we are not offended. It is not our business to convince people to believe in God.

We do not want to look at negativity. We only focus on positivity. What it means is that we are only concerned that we believe in God. We want to make sure that, throughout our life, we should successfully maintain to believe in God and extend our help, veneration and admiration for those who share our belief system.

Our belief system is not a secretive belief system. It encompasses all faiths, all religions and all belief systems.

Whether you believe in God through one religion or another, it doesn’t really make a difference. What makes a difference is that you believe in God eventually.

Leaders who form a cult do not let their members appreciate others. They want to make sure you don’t look at anybody else. If this was a cult, we would not show our veneration to Lord Jesus Christ, to Prophet Mohammad.

Although the current form of Islam is totally abhorred, at the same time, we extend our respect, veneration and admiration to Prophet Mohammad. We are not Jews, but we respect Prophet Moses and Prophet Abraham – if not more than Jews, maybe equally. We respect everybody who is worthy of respect. How can this be a cult?

We are only obedient to love. The centre of our affection and veneration is not a personality; it is a concept, theory and ideology: love.

This is our good fortune that love is on two legs. The love that we circumambulate around walks on Earth, talks, sits, sleeps and eats – the embodiment of love.

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About the Author
Younus AlGohar is the Representative of the Awaited One Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi and CEO of Messiah Foundation International. He has been recognised as an Ambassador of Peace and Man of Valour. He is an advocate of divine love and interfaith harmony.
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