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Friday Sermon: Ayatul Kursi (verse 256) from Surah Al Baqarah

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Huzur recited Ayatul Kursi (verse 256) from Surah Al Baqarah. The translation reads: 

‘Allah — there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that will intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them; and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He pleases. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; and the care of them burdens Him not; and He is the High, the Great.’

Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said everything has a pinnacle and Surah Al Baqarah is the pinnacle of the Qur’an and it has a verse which is the chief of all verses; it is the Ayatul Kursi. Another Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that if a person reads ten verses of Surah Al Baqarah before going to sleep Satan does not visit his house till morning and one of these verses is Ayatul Kursi.

Huzur explained that this does not entail a mere recitation of the ten verses is required. It means that one reads them carefully and thoughtfully, analyses one’s self, gauging how much does one put them in practice and then pledges to make pious changes in oneself. This is what would keep the Satan at bay. Huzur said the ten verses cited in the Hadith include the first four verses of Surah Al Baqarah. These verses illustrate the pious and practical life of a believer, then, there is Ayatul Kursi and two of its adjoining verses that cite Divine attributes and finally the last three verses of Surah Al Baqarah. Huzur said although his discourse in today’s Sermon would be on Ayatul Kursi he would read an extract of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expounding the first four verses of Surah Al Barqarah. [Below is the published translation of the extract Huzur read out].

‘One should ponder over the first verse, namely: I am Allah the All-Knowing. This is the Perfect Book. There is no doubt in it. It is guidance for the righteous. It will be observed how nicely and beautifully and succinctly God Almighty has furnished the answer to the objection raised.

First reference is made to the Author of the Holy Quran and His Grandeur and Majesty are indicated. It is said: I am Allah the All-Knowing; that is to say, I, Who Am All-Knowing and All-Wise, Whose knowledge is not matched by the knowledge of anyone else, am revealing this Book. Then the greatness of the Holy Quran is referred to and it is said: This is the Perfect Book; that is to say, this is a grand and sublime Book which derives from Divine knowledge. It is established with regard to it that its source and spring is the Eternal Being of the All-Wise. By referring to it as The Book, God Almighty has indicated that this Book derives from the knowledge of that Being with high attributes, Who is Matchless and Peerless and Whose perfect knowledge and minute mysteries are very far from the limits of human sight.

Then it is said that the body of the Quran is so well reasoned that there is no room left in it for any kind of doubt, meaning that like other books it is not a mere tale or story, but is comprehensive of conclusive arguments and reasoning, and sets forth clear proofs of its objects and purposes, and is in itself a miracle which operates like a sharp sword for the removal of doubts and suspicions, and does not leave the matter of the recognition of God at the conjectural stage of He should be, but carries the matter to the certainty of, He is.

Despite the grandeur of these purposes which are greatly concerned with effect and reform, it proceeds to define the fourth purpose which is its ultimate object, which is the provision of guidance for the righteous. It announces that this Book has been revealed for the guidance of those who, on account of their pure interiors, and sane reason, and firm intelligence, and eagerness for search of truth, and right motives, would, in the end, arrive at a high degree of faith and recognition of God and perfect righteousness.’ (Essence of Islam vol. I, pp. 397-399).

Huzur said if these four aspects are kept in view while reading the Holy Qur’an and while being in a state of sincere belief one is guided towards the insight and perception of God.

Reverting to the subject of Ayatul Kursi Huzur said it is based on the all-inclusive Divine attributes and begins with His Name, ‘Allah — there is no God but He.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Allah is the personal name of God and when one has full faith in His boundless powers then alone would one remember Him at all times. Huzur said one gets involved in many ills or is negligent of Divine commandments, is remiss in paying the dues of Allah and the dues of mankind because one does not remember God all the time and forgets that He watches over us all each moment. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that God has addressed and informed him to let his Community know that those whose faith is free from all worldly adulteration, is not dispossessed of any degree of obedience are the kind of people God likes and it is these who are the truthful. Huzur said this should be the very least we should aspire to. Huzur said this verse states that one should only turn to God, Who alone is worthy of worship, is the Master of all powers and thus worthy of worship. Turning to Him enables us to be the recipient of blessings in this world as well as the Hereafter. Huzur said this world has a substitute for everything but there is no substitute for Him. Is it then not foolish to leave Him? An atheist may say that as he/she does not believe why he/she should turn to God, but it is a misfortune if a Muslim, having declared ‘there is no God except Allah’, gives precedent to worldly matters. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said God is without any partner because if this was not so the enemy would have the potential to overcome Him and in such a state the status and prominence of God would be in danger. None other than Him is worthy of worship signifies that He is a Perfect God Whose attributes are supremely excellent and lofty. If one was to imagine the most excellent attributes, then those belong to Him. He is Most High, and none can be higher and more excellent than Him.

Huzur said in our everyday life, we err inadvertently and unconsciously associate partners to God and thus forget that He alone is our Lord. May God cover us in His mercy and forgiveness. The prayer ‘There is no God but You, Holy are You. I have indeed been of the wrongdoers’ (21:88) is a most significant prayer to guide us towards understanding the concept of ‘Allah — there is no God but He’.

The Ayatul Kursi next states ‘the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining’. Huzur said the Living God also sustains all life around us. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said each and every single person that we see has been given life by God and every thing that we observe around us is being sustained by Him. This is an assurance for true believers that their permanence is in adherence to the Living God rather than relying on any worldly means in dire circumstances. It is stated in the Holy Qur’an: ‘And trust thou in the Living One, Who dies not, and glorify Him with His praise…’ (25:59). A true believer does not doubt any Divine attribute when faced with difficulties, rather adversity makes him turn further to ‘the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining’ God.

The verse proceeds to assert, ‘Slumber seizes Him not, nor sleep’. Huzur explained that a true believer could never envisage that God Whose attributes are boundless would ever tire or be inattentive. It is impossible for Him to be unmindful of the lives of His servants. Indeed, in accordance to the laws of nature and by virtue of His other attributes, He sometimes puts His servants through trials but He also declares that the true life is that of His servants.

Ayatul Kursi next asserts that ‘To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth’, Huzur explained that this signifies that no one should be in doubt that God and His Messenger will be triumphant. Huzur said from a worldly perspective this appears unlikely or in the far-removed and distant future. However, when He told His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers…’ (58;22) He fulfilled it despite improbable circumstances. Similarly when He promised His Messiah (on whom be peace) He will fulfill His word, indeed, He is fulfilling it. Although one imagines that such a triumph is likely to take place in the distant future but God declares that whatever is in the heavens and the earth is in His possession and control, He is watching over everything, life and death are in His hands, the evident and the hidden treasures of this earth are in His hands. Once He has decided that His Messenger’s Community will triumph none can alter it; be it worldly powers or the so-called standard-bearers of religion. However, it has been made clear to believers from the onset that the triumph will be for those who have firm and complete faith in God Who is the Master of all attributes and those who worship Him. Huzur said it is essential that each Ahmadi fully understands this.

Ayatul Kursi goes on to state, ‘Who is he that will intercede with Him except by His permission?’ No intercession, without the authority of God, will avail in His presence. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) will have God’s permission to intercede. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the true intercessor who freed his people from all kind of vice and made them a nation of highest standard. One should never assume that intercession has no merit. Intercession is a verity; it enables the egotistic passions to cool off, eliminates a life of sin and initiates one on piety. Intercession does not make one’s deeds ineffective, rather it inspires good deeds. The intercession of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) starts in this life and is conditional to good works. It is not compatible with the philosophy of atonement; atonement promotes wrongdoing whereas intercession leads one to good works.  The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that many noble members of his community were well aware that many were alleviated of their sufferings and difficulties with his intercession.     

Huzur said with the citation of intercession, God has also made it clear that ‘He knows what is before them and what is behind them;’, so those who are openly embroiled in sins will not be blessed with intercession in this world or the Hereafter. Ayatul Kursi then states, ‘and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He pleases’. Huzur said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was the beloved of God and was given the most knowledge. He was given news of times to come, there were many things that he knew and his Companions were unaware of. However, even the knowledge given to him was incomplete and none can reach God’s knowledge. Huzur said the scientific developments are a testimony that God shows new ways to those who seek and search. Likewise there are spiritual stages encompassing boundless knowledge. None can comprehend the workings of the universe or the origin of the universe. When He wills, God imparts some knowledge to some people. This should inspire them to turn towards Him.      

The verse then states, ‘His throne extends over the heavens and the earth;’ Huzur said God’s dominion is spread all over and He is the One Who has given life to everything and Who gives knowledge. He gives knowledge in accordance to progress and development made and as much as He wills. Therefore, He alone is worthy of worship. Not only His dominion spreads all over the heavens and the earth He has also taken responsibility of its safeguard and He never tires of this. Huzur said one may try and look far and wide looking for flaws in His creation, try again and again – one would exhaust one’s efforts but would not find a flaw in God’s creation.  Huzur remarked does all this not lead us to turn to Him and not rebel against Him?  Ayatul Kursi thus concludes ‘and He is the High, the Great’. He has been running this system of creation from the very beginning and does not need any helper for it. The God of Islam is the Master of all attributes and certainly alone worthy of worship.  May God grant us the insight and perception to always turn to Him and be among His worshippers and continue to derive beneficence from the excellences of His attributes while having a good understanding of them.

Next Huzur said he would lead a few funerals in absentia after Jummah. Laeeq Ahmad Tariq sahib from Faisalabad, Pakistan was martyred by extremists on 28th May. He was 54 years old and was a moosi.  One of his brothers who resides in UK told Huzur that when he called their mother he could not control his emotions but the elderly mother consoled him saying she was proud that she was now a mother of a martyr. Huzur said such are the mothers in the community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) whose faith is evocative of early Islam. Huzur prayed for the lofty station of the martyr and steadfastness for his family.

Ghulam Mustapha sahib from Lahore, Pakistan was an assistant sub-inspector in the police and was martyred in the bomb explosion in Lahore in which a police building was targeted. Mumtaz Begum sahiba passed away on 30th May in Chennai, India. There is mounting opposition against the Community here. During her burial in a cemetery that the Community has used for the past thirty years, some maulwis arrived and protested the burial could not go ahead as this was a Muslim cemetery. However, the burial took place, but afterwards the maulwis exhumed the body and put it on the side while the police simply looked on.  Later the body was buried in another cemetery with the support of the police. Huzur said the maulwis of this area are the same as those who discredit Islam all over. Mubarika Begum sahiba of Kharian, Pakistan, recently passed away. She was the mother of Chaudhry Muneer Ahmad sahib who runs the MTA in USA. Finally Huzur mentioned Jaffar Ahmad Khan sahib, who although was physically disabled but was mentally alert. He was a moosi and the son of Huzur’s paternal aunt. He was the grandson of Sahibzadi Amtul Hafeez Begum sahiba as well as of Hadhrat Mirza Shareef Ahmad. May God grant him forgiveness and elevate his station in Paradise.

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Synopsis:
  • Ayatul Kursi (verse 256) from Surah Al Baqarah: Everything has a pinnacle and Surah Al Baqarah is the pinnacle of the Qur’an and it has a verse which is the chief of all verses; it is the Ayatul Kursi, One should recite the ten verses of Surah Al-Baqarah including Ayatul Kursi carefully and thoughtfully, analysing one’s self, gauging how much does one put them in practice and then pledges to make pious changes in oneself.
  • آیت الکرسی ،قرآن کریم کی تعلیم پر غور اور عمل ہدایت اور عرفان الٰہی کی نئی سے نئی راہیں کھولتا ہے، جب ایک انسان مومن ہونے کا دعویٰ کرتا ہے تو اسے خدا تعالیٰ کو سب طاقتوں کا سرچشمہ یقین کرنا چاہیے، خدا تعالیٰ ہی تمام صفات کا جامع اور تمام قدرتوں کا مالک ہے۔،اور اس ناطے وہی اس بات کا حقدار ہے کہ اس کی عبادت کی جائے اور تمام جھوٹے خداوْں سے بچتے ہوئے صرف اسی واحد خدا کے سامنے جھکا جائے۔
About Friday Sermon

The Jumu'ah (Friday) prayer is one form of congregational worship in Islam. It takes place every Friday. Regular attendance at the Jumu'ah prayer is enjoined on the believer. According to a Saying of Muhammadsa this congregational prayer is twenty-five times more blessed than worship performed alone. (Bukhari)

Friday Sermons in the Quran

“O ye who believe! When the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is best for you, if you only knew.” more

Friday Sermons in the Hadith

“… (He who) offers the Prayers and listens quitely when the Imam stands up for sermon, will have his sins forgiven between that Friday and the next”(Bukhari)