Every Muslim personally believes and you too must be surely believing alike, ha a Muslim's rank is higher than of a Kafir. God likes a Muslim and dislikes a Kafir. A Muslim will get salvation from God while a Kafir will not. A Muslim will go to Paradise and a Kafir will go to Hell. Today I want you to ponder over this matter as to why should there be so much difference between a Muslim and a Kafir? A Kafir is as much an offspring of Adam as you are. He too possesses hands, feet, eyes and ears as you possess. He too, like you, breathes the same air, drinks the same water, inhabits the same land as you do. That very God Who created you, created him also. Then why is his rank low and yours high? Why will you get Paradise and why will he be thrown into Hell?
This is a point to be thought over deeply. Such a big difference between man and man cannot be simply due to the fact that you are called by names like 'Abdullah' and 'Abdur-Rehman' and he is called by names like Deen Dayal, Kartar Singh and Robertson, or that you get circumcised and he does not, or that you eat meat and he shuns it. The Almighty Allah Who has created all human beings and is the Sustainer of all of them cannot be so cruel as to discriminate between his creatures on such petty grounds and send one slave of His to Heaven and another to Hell.
When the position is not like this, then think out what is the actual difference between the two? The answer to it is only one and it is this that the real difference between the two is due to Islam and Kufr. The meaning of Islam is obedience to God while he meaning of Kufr is disobedience to God. Muslim and Kafir are both human beings; both are slaves of God. But one human being becomes superior for the reason that he recognizes his Master, obeys His orders and fears the consequences of disobeying Him, while the other human being falls from the high rank because he does not recognize his Master and does not carry out His orders. This is why God is pleased with Muslims and displeased with unbelievers. He promises award of Heaven to Muslims and warns unbelievers that they will be consigned to Hell.
From this it is clear that there are two things which separate Muslims and Kafirs. One is knowledge and the other, deeds. That is, in the first place, one should know who is his Master, what are His orders, what is the method to follow His wishes, which deeds please Him and which displease Him? Then when these things become known, the second step is that man should make himself a slave of his Master, carry out what He desires, and give up own wishes. If his heart desires to do a certain act and the Master's order is against it, he should pay no heed to his heart's desire and carry out his Master's order. If a work appears as noble to him and the Master says that it is ignoble, he must also consider it ignoble. And if another work appears ignoble to him but the Master says it is noble he too must consider it good. If he sees harm in a certain work but since the Master says that it must be done, he must in any case do it though it my entail him any amount of loss in life and property. As against this, if he expects profit in some other work but the Master forbids him from undertaking it, he must never, touch it though it may bring him even the wealth of the whole world.
This is the knowledge and conduct by which a Muslim becomes a true servant of God, on whom He sends His blessing and to whom He awards honour and dignity. Contrarily, since a Kafir does not possess this knowledge, he is listed as God's disobedient slave and is deprived by God of His blessings.
Now you should yourself consider with justice that if a man who calls himself Muslim is as ignorant and disobedient as a Kafir, how can he be superior to the latter merely on the basis of bearing a different name, wearing a different dress and eating a different food? Also on what basis is he entitled to the blessing of God in this world and in the Hereafter? Islam is not akin to a race or family or brotherhood which is automatically bequeathed from father to son and from son to grandson. It is not the case here that a Brahmin's son, however, ignorant and of bad conduct he may be, will command a lofty status just because he is born in a Brahmin's home and belongs to the high caste, while the son of a scheduled caste, however will remain in the low strata because he is born in a scheduled caste home and is a menial. On this point God has explicitly stated in His book:
" In reality the most honoured among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is most pious."
That is, the more one knows God and the more one obeys His commandments, the more honourable is he in the sight of God. Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) was born in the home of an idolater, but he came to know God and obeyed Him. That is why God made him Imam of the whole world.The son of Noah was born in a prophet's home but he did not understand God and disobeyed Him. That is why God did not care at all for his family and gave such a punishment to him that it became an object-lesson for the world. Therefore, please understand thoroughly that whatever difference is there in the sight of Allah between man and man, it is in relation to knowledge and deeds. Both in this world and the Hereafter God's blessing is served for those who understand Him, know the right path shown by Him and carry out His commandments. Those who do not have this quality, though their names may be 'Abdullah and 'Abdur Rahman' or Deen Dayal or Kartar Singh, there is no difference between these two sets in the sight of God and they are not entitled to His blessing.
Brethren! You call yourselves Muslims and it is your conviction that God showers His blessing on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if God's blessing is descending on you? Whatever will happen in the Hereafter will be seen by you afterwards, but have a look at your condition in this world. You are nine crore in this land of Hindustan. You are in such great number that if each of you were to throw a pebble it will become a mountain. But where there are so many Muslims, the government is in the hands of unbelievers. Your necks are in their grip to turn you whichever side they like; your head which did not bowed before anybody except Allah is now bowed before human beings. Your honour which no one dared to touch is now being besmeared with dust. Your hand which was always above is now lowered and is stretched before a Kafir. Ignorance, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to disgrace everywhere.
Is this the blessing of God? If this is not blessing but obvious wrath, then how strange it is that these are Muslims and yet on them descends the wrath of God! These are Muslims and are yet wallowing in disgrace. These are Muslims and are yet in slavery! This situation appears to be an impossibility just as it is impossible for an object to be both white and black. Since a Muslim is the loved one of God, how can he be disgraced in this world? Is your God (may Allah forbid) an oppressor that while you, on your part, acknowledge His due to you and obey His orders, He makes the disobedient ones rule over you, and gives you punishment for your obedience to Him? If it is an article of faith with you that God is not an oppressor and if you believe that the reward of obedience to God can never be in the shape of disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim of being a Muslim. Though your name is surely entered as a Muslim in government papers but God does not pass judgment on the authenticity of the office of the British Government. God maintains His own office. You will have to search in His list to find whether your name is entered among His obedient or disobedient servants?
God sent you His Book so that by reading it you may know Him and learn the way of obeying Him. Did you ever try to find out what is written in it? God sent His Prophet to you to teach you the method of becoming Muslim. Did you ever try to find out what His prophet has taught? God showed you the way to attain honour and dignity in this world and the Hereafter. Do you follow that way? God very explicitly informed you as to what are those works which debase man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such works? Say what answer have you to these questions? If you admit that you neither obtained knowledge from God's Book and His Prophet's life nor followed the way shown by Him, then how did you become Muslim to merit His reward? The reward you are getting is proportionate to the degree of your being Muslim and you will get a like reward in the Hereafter too!
I have stated before that there is absolutely no difference between a Muslim and a Kafir except in the matter of knowledge and deeds. If thee knowledge and deeds of a man are similar to those of a Kafir, and yet he calls himself a Muslim, he speaks a blatant lie. A Kafir does not read the Qur'an and does not know what is written therein. If similar is the condition of a Muslim, why should he be called a Muslim? A Kafir does not know what is the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and what straight path he has shown to reach God. If a Muslim is equally ignorant of this, how is he a Muslim? A Kafir follows his own desire instead of following the command of God. If a Muslim too, like him, is headstrong and unbridled, and a follower of his own ideas and opinion, indifferent to God and is a slave of lust, then what right has he to call himself a Muslim (obedient slave of God)? A Kafir does not discriminate between Halal and Haram and takes to anything which to him is beneficial and full of relish, no matter whether it is Halal or Haram in the sight God. If a Muslim's behaviour is the same as that of a non-Muslim, what difference is there between him and a Kafir? In short, if a Muslim is as much devoid of knowledge about Islam as a Kafir is and if a Muslim does all those things which a Kafir does, then why should he be considered superior as compared to a Kafir? This is a matter on which we should all ponder cool-mindedly.
My dear brethren! Please do not think that I am out to brand Muslims as unbelievers. No, this is not my aim at all. I myself ponder and want that everyone of us should think for himself as to why at all are we deprived of the blessing of God? Why are we the target of calamities from all sides? Why those whom we call Kafir, i.e. disobedient slaves of God, are everywhere dominating over us? And why we, who claim to be His obedient slaves, are being subjugated everywhere? The more I pondered over the reason of this situation the more I got convinced that the only difference now left between us and unbelievers is that of mere name, otherwise we too are in no way behind them in neglect of God, in being unafraid of Him and in being disobedient to Him. There is of course, a light difference between us and them but this difference does not entitle us to any reward. Infect, it make us deserving of punishment because we know that the Qur'an is the Book of God and yet we treat it as a Kafir treats it. We know that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Prophet of Allah and yet we are scared of following him as is a Kafir scared. We know that God has cursed a liar, He has positively declared Hell as an abode of bribe-takers and bribe-givers. He has pronounced interest-takers and interest-givers as the worst criminals, He has termed backbiting as like eating a brother's flesh, He has warned that obscenity, lewdness and debauchery will meet with dire punishment. But even knowing all this, we freely indulge in all these vices like the unbelievers as if we have absolutely no fear of God. This is why we are not rewarded as we are Muslims by appearance only as compared to the unbelievers. The fact of unbelievers ruling over us and our humiliations on every occasion at their hands, are expressive of the punishment of the crime that a boon like Islam was bestowed on us and we did not value it.
Dear brethren! Whatever I have said today in my lecture is not intended to blame you. I have not come as a censurer. My aim is to make you keen to recover what has been lost. The anxiety to regain a lost asset arises when a man realizes what actually he has lost and how valuable it was. That is why I try to awaken you. If you are aroused and understand that in reality a highly-precious object was in your possession, then you will think about regaining it.
I had told you in my previous lecture that to become a real Muslim the foremost requisite is knowledge of Islam. Every Muslim ought to know what is the teaching of the Qur'an, what system was followed by the Holy Prophet, what is Islam, and what are those things which really differentiate Islam from Kufr. Nobody can be a Muslim without this knowledge. But it is a pity that you are not keen to acquire this very knowledge. This shows that still you do not realize what great boon you are deprived of. My brethren! A mother does not give milk to her child until he cries and demands it. When a man feels thirsty he himself searches for water and God produces also water for him.
When you yourself are not thirsty for water it will be useless even if a spring brimming with water were to come before you. You ought to first understand yourself what a great loss you are incurring by remaining ignorant of Deen. The Book of God is with you but you do not know what is written in it. What a greater loss can there be than this? You do not know even the meaning of Kalima by reciting which you enter Islam, nor do you know what responsibilities devolve on you soon after reciting this Kalima. Can there be a greater loss than this for a Muslim? You know the loss caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering due to failure to obtain livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property, but you do not know the loss of being unaware of Islam. When you will realize this loss then you will yourself come and ask to be saved from this loss. And when you will yourself make this request then Insha-Allah (may God will it so) arrangement will be made to protect you from this loss.