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Divine attribute of Ar Rahman (The Gracious)

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

December 15th, 2006

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Citing verse 23 of Surah Al Hashr (59:23) Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon on the Divine attribute of Ar Rahman (The Gracious). Through the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Huzur explained that it is by virtue of Rahmaniyyat (the quality of being Gracious) that all creation receives God’s universally prevalent beneficence. It is a Divine attribute that is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an after the mention of the attribute of Rabb so that the sequence may be noted.

Imam Raghib explained that the word rahmat (mercy, grace) connotes gentleness which brings about favour and kindness meted to a person who is in need of it. However, for Allah this word only denotes granting favour and kindness. Imam Raghib relates a Hadith e Qudsi that when God created the womb (rahm) He stated ‘I am Rahman and you are rahm. One who links with you, I shall also link with them. One who cuts you off I shall break them in pieces’ Huzur explained that here the quality of Rahmaniyyat is connected with keeping ties with close relatives. Imam Raghib explained that through Rahmaniyyat Allah gives to all and sundry whereas His Raheemiyyat is exclusive to the believers as expounded in verse 157 of Surah Al A’raf (7:157). In short Rahman is the God Who shows mercy, grants favour and kindness and is inclined through goodwill and provides provisions.

Imam Razi explained that Rahman is a Being that grants beneficence of the kind that man does not have the capacity of giving. He related two stories to further expound this involving a crow helping to feed a helpless man and a scorpion biting a snake causing both to die in the vicinity of a sleeping man whose life is in turn saved.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that through the attribute of Rahman, God grants without being asked. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the perfect manifestation of the four main attributes of God: Lord, the Gracious, the Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement. Just as the term ‘Lord of all the worlds’ necessitates universal Rububiyyat (quality to sustain and nurture) being ‘mercy for all the world’ the beneficence of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was also declared to be for all the worlds. He was also the perfect manifestation of the quality of Rahman because his beneficence is incomparable.

Unlike others who said that the quality of Rahman was exclusive to God, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) maintained that being the perfect man, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had this quality in him more than anyone else and that an ordinary person too should aspire to the paradigm. Huzur said this can be achieved through serving humanity and adopting ways of carrying out social welfare.

Huzur said each Ahmadi should focus on this aspect. He said while on the subject, he would mention that the Community has a system in place to aid and help the needy with wedding expenses, medical issues and education. The ‘Maryam Shadi Fund’ as initiated by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) is an enormous social welfare scheme. Medical treatment is given to the disadvantaged in poor countries. There should be awareness about these things. Sadqa should be given with the zeal for serving humanity. In this way by adopting the attribute of being gracious we will the recipient of His grace.

Huzur also mentioned that doctors are needed in the hospitals in Rabwah and also in the African countries. Doctors should devote (Waqf) some years or their life to this purpose. This would bless them with immense spiritual rewards from God’s Rahmaniyyat.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the quality of Rahmaniyyat is pure favour and munificence and is not caused by any good act and is not the fruit or reward of anything. Obedience or disobedience are irrelevant to its dispensation. Huzur said the Holy Qur’an mentions the attribute of Gracious God in conjunction with worship. Prophets of God summoned people to the Gracious God for people’s own good and not for any recompense. Their teaching was not to be ungrateful. Although the beneficence of Rahmaniyyat is universal it should incline one towards His worship and obeying His commandments.
Despite humanity rejecting God, His Rahmaniyyat remains overwhelming. If it were not for this Divine quality, majority of humanity would have been destroyed because of its misdemeanours and sins.

Citing verse 31 of Surah Al Ra’d (13:31) Huzur said this is a response to disbelievers in that it is only the quality of Rahmaniyyat through which punishment is being averted and respite is given. With reference to verse 91 of Surah TaHa (20:91) Huzur said Hadhrat Haroon (peace be on him) drew the attention of the people of Moses (on whom be peace) as to why did they worship a calf rather then the Gracious God. He beckoned them to the straight path. Thus, Huzur said, by virtue of the favour of the Gracious God He has been guiding people through His prophets over the ages. 1400 years ago He made arrangement for the guidance of all humanity. Then in this age He sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for guidance.

Citing verses 61- 64 of Surah Al Furqan (25:61-64) Huzur explained that here the question of the disbelievers with reference to Who is the Gracious God is being answered. The Gracious God is He Who has created the sun and the moon for our benefit, the sun, with which the human life and the life of the vegetation is associated. Both physical and spiritual life of humans is linked and dependant on the Gracious God.

Huzur said these days with their actions and their practice, though not in so many words, this is exactly what people are asking: Who is the Gracious God? Deriving luminosity from the sun of 1400 years ago, in this age, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has further spread the light. Therefore it is essential to accept him in this age otherwise one is tantamount to asking the question, Who is the Gracious God?

On one hand the Muslims are articulating that they are in dire strait and that a reformer is needed. On the other hand they are effectively and in practical terms rejecting the Divine attribute. The light of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is from the Gracious God, accept it or else you will unconsciously be rejecting the Divine attribute.

Those of us who have accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) him are fortunate, however, we should not be content on this alone. It is our obligation to worship Him with humility and to respond to the arrogance of the antagonists with gentleness and peace. Huzur said pray for these people, for that is what servants of the Gracious God do.

Huzur read an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidating the above-mentioned Quranic verses from Surah Al Furqan. Huzur said Ahmadis have always received verbal abuse but the response of verbal abuse is not in kind. Huzur said the fact that there is no chastisement despite the oppression and persecution is a manifestation of Rahmaniyyat.
Among the Quranic verses Huzur cited to expound the quality of Gracious God was verse 20 of Surah Al Mulk (67:20).

In conclusion Huzur said may the fact that we have acknowledged and recognised the Gracious God enable us to focus ever more on His worship and may, in applying the quality of being gracious on ourselves, we selflessly serve humanity and pray for those who verbally abuse us, InshaAllah our prayers will bear fruit. Huzur urged to pray for humanity in general and the Muslims in particular because they associate themselves to one who was mercy for all the worlds. May Allah save them from destruction for the sake of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

Next Huzur asked for prayers as he is due to leave for a visit to Germany in a few days. Huzur said they have planned a full schedule of Community activities in Germany and he will also deliver his traditional address on the concluding day of the Qadian Jalsa from Germany.

Huzur requested prayers for his journey and success and Allah’s blessings for the scheduled engagements.