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Friday Sermon: Believers remain steadfast in face of trials and tribulations

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

Huzoor (aba) recited the verses 154-158 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:154) from the Holy Quran which refer to those qualities of the Believers which they should exhibit when they are faced with any kind of tribulations, i.e. they meet such situations with patience and steadfastness and in fact, such trials are a source of greater strength in their faith. The translation of these verses is as follows:

“O ye who believe! seek help with patience and Prayer; surely, Allah is with the steadfast. And say not of those who are killed in the cause of Allah that they are dead; nay, they are living; only you perceive not. And We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient, Who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say, ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’ It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly guided.” [2:154-158]

The first verse describes two key characteristics of a Believer: they exhibit patience and seek help with prayer at the time of adversity. Patience implies several meanings – firstly, it means that one should refrain from whining and complaining when faced with any kind of hardship. He should endure the difficulty with fortitude. Lamenting in way of a difficulty can sometimes result in the expression of such emotions which are unbecoming of a Believer. Secondly, patience means to remain steadfast and resolute. Thirdly, it means to remain firmly grounded in the commandments of God. Patience also means that one should make every effort to shield oneself from what God has forbidden. In a nutshell, steadfastness entails that one has the quality to face any kind of trials and tribulations with strength, courage and resilience and that he prostrates towards God with absolute conviction and firm faith.

The second quality mentioned in this verse is that one should seek help with Prayer and supplication. What this signifies is that one increases his fervor in the ritual daily prayers, increases his supplications, pay closer attention to his duties of faith, remain ever occupied in “astaghfar” (seeking repentance) and remembrance of Allah, offer durood and hamd (invocations on the Prophet (saw) and praise of Allah). Hence, a believer should exhibit complete patience and tolerance. One should not refrain from doing good deeds, and in fact, intensify his supplications, etc. When one offers supplications before God with such an attitude, along with the practical demonstration of the above, he shall meet with success. One should remember that all types of adversities are temporary. When a believer hands over his complete trust and faith to God and relies solely on His existence, then in face of every trial he shall meet with success and his relationship with God will keep increasing, and God will come to the succor of His servant as a mother tries to help her child in any way that she can. The pre-requisite however is that one should truly discharge one’s duties in the way of Allah and express absolute submission to His Will and exhibit all the qualities of steadfastness and perseverance.

In the wake of the new wave of persecution against Ahmadis in several Arab countries and in Pakistan, there are restrictions imposed on Ahmadis that they cannot offer their Jummah prayers or even the five daily prayers in congregation. In such circumstances, God Almighty advises that a Believer should strengthen in his faith, become even more devoted to his worship and intensify his religious practices. When these requirements are fulfilled, the whole world will witness how God comes to relief of His servants.

The Promised Messiah (as) has said that in order to receive the blessings of God Almighty, one should purify himself because God is Pure. Apart from the Arabic prescribed prayers, one should cry before God in his own language because such a condition creates a deep effect on one’s heart and when such humility and fervor is present, God accepts prayers in His servant’s favor. Prayers and supplications can bring about a great revolution in the world. God Himself has given the glad tidings to Believers that those who are steadfast shall inherit the earth.

“Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him, and removes the evil, and makes you successors in the earth? Is there a God besides Allah? Little is it that you reflect.” (27:63)

Huzoor (aba) said that the sacrifices that the Ahmadis in Pakistan are making in way of God and the hardships that they are being subjected to will not be wasted and shall bear great rewards not only for their own selves but for the Jamaat as a whole. Among the sufferers, there might be some who even lose their lives, but God Almighty says that the significance of the life of one who is martyred in God’s way is not the same as that of one who lives an ordinary life. If we glance at the early Islamic history, we will find many who laid their lives for the sake of God’s religion and for the institution of Tawheed (Unity of God). God accepted their sacrifices because they made these sacrifices for a tremendous cause, and such sacrifices become an inspiration for other Believers as well. Nations who realize the significance of making such sacrifices never die. At present, the Jamaat of the Promised Messiah (as) is under attack, to whom it was promised that the aakhireen were to join the awaleen i.e. that the righteous followers of the Holy Prophet (saw) who came in the latter days were to join the ranks of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (saw), hence there is no doubt that they would have to offer the gift of their life in His cause. We should remember that each drop of blood of every martyr offers new progress to the Jamaat. Those who persecute Ahmadis should remember that the revolution brought about by the Reformer of the Latter Days i.e. the Promised Messiah cannot be suppressed by inflicting loss of life or properties or bank accounts. Every Ahmadi martyred brings about an increase in the devotion and loyalty among the members of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, as is expressed in the letters received by Huzoor (aba) every day from different parts of the world. The adversaries are mistaken that their malicious attacks will deter Ahmadis from their faith. On the contrary, their enmity opens greater avenues of Tabligh (propagation) and Huzoor (aba) said that he receives numerous letters from people who profess their devotion to the Promised Messiah (as) as a result of witnessing such senseless persecution against Ahmadis. Huzoor (aba) said that these antagonists can take the lives of Ahmadis, they can destroy our buildings, stop the construction of our mosques, but they cannot take our faith away.

Huzoor (aba) then elaborated on the ways in which fear is inflicted upon Ahmadis: they are attacked physically, implicated in false court cases, subjected to discriminating laws and receive intimidating threats from lawmakers. Believers however do not fear any such harassments, nor do they renounce or weaken in their faith. They are also subjected to hunger and food deprivation, such as they were in 1974, when the masses were prohibited to give food to Ahmadis, Ahmadis were not allowed to leave their homes, or in those cases where they would leave home to get provisions for their household, the tradespersons were not allowed to sell food to them. In addition, their properties are being pillaged, and Ahmadi children are subjected to all kinds of discomforts in their educational institutes, preventing them from acquiring a suitable education.

The Holy Quran has already warned the Believers that you shall be tried with all types of hardships, and those who are true to their faith will face these hardships with steadfastness and recited: ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’ A Believer always keeps in mind that even if all the blessings are taken away from him, such difficulties are only temporary because his life is on this earth is also transitory and he himself shall return to his Creator, when he will be rewarded with greater blessings. These beliefs strengthen his faith further. The Promised Messiah (as) says that one should not regard hardships as something unpleasant – only he who is not a strong believer shall complain and whine when faced with hardships. Everything comes from God and to Him is the return, therefore loss does not despair a true Believer, because he is always in submission to the Will of God and that is how he reaps the rewards for his steadfastness. This is the practice of Ahmadis which will lead us to progress. Huzoor (aba) enjoined all Ahmadis to pray that may He always protect us and shield us against all types of harm and trials; but if we are to face any hardship, we should always remain steadfast because this is the only way we can receive the rewards from God Almighty.

The Promised Messiah (as) says regarding trials that there has never been an appointed prophet from God who has not been subjected to persecution and adversity. Look at the lives of Jesus (as), Moses (as) and Mohammad (saw). The results of these hardships however are always rewarding. If the Sunnah (practice) of Allah Almighty was such that His chosen servants were offered ease and comfort and earthly favors, then what would be the difference between a Godly community and ordinary groups of people. It is through trials and tribulations that God wishes to make a distinction between those who are weak and those who are strong in faith. In fact, without being subjected to trials, one may never witness Divine Signs. Believers are those who turn towards God in face of every difficulty. In fact, it is by subjecting His servants to hardships that God Almighty demonstrates His Love for them because by passing through these hardships, God’s servants display their steadfastness to Him, which is indeed a great quality of the Believers. Every miracle is indeed a direct result of a tribulation itself.

Huzoor (aba) expounded upon the last verse, in which God says that those who are steadfast are the ones who will be blessed with Divine favors, and it is they who are truly the guided ones. These are the Believers who will ever increase in their spiritual ranks and the adversaries will be in ruins. May God bestow these adversaries with the faculty to realize their foolishness, Ameen.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that hardships never concern him because he has complete faith in the Beneficence of God Almighty, who can change despair into hope, Whose favors are always within reach for those who make the effort. The intention of giving up a vice when one is faced with hardships becomes a source of true repentance for him. In such a case, the luminance of hope clears away the darkness of despair, and such a person advances towards spiritual progress.

Huzoor (aba) directed the attention of Ahmadis throughout the world to pray fervently for the wellbeing of every Ahmadi in the world, to refrain from all sorts of evils and to make every effort in reaping the blessings of God Almighty. May Allah enable every member of the Jamaat to do so, Ameen. Huzoor (aba) also said that it appears that the sufferings of Ahamdis in Pakistan may continue for a while longer because the opposition considers them a weak target, but they do not understand that they are damaging their own nation whereas the Jamaat does not incur an iota of damage.

In the end, Huzoor (aba) said that he would lead the Janaza prayer of the following: an Ahmadi, Mohammad Azam Tahir, who was martyred in the evening of 26 September. He was a Moosi, a hospitable, God-fearing person, was also serving as Finance Secretary and is survived by 2 sons and 1 daughter. He has five siblings, of which one brother is a Murabbi Silsila. Two other Ahmadis were killed in a bomb blast in Peshawar, Ayaaz Ahmad (40 years of age, survived by two children and his wife) and Imtiaz Ahmad (30 years of age). Another Ahmadi brother, Anwar Kahlon sahib passed away on September 27th in Pakistan. He was the past Amir of UK under Khalifatul Masih IV and served the Jamaat in various capacities all his life. An Ahmadi sister, Mansoora Wahab daughter of Amir of Ghana Jama'at Abdul Wahab Adam, also passed away due to kidney failure.

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Synopsis:
  • Patience and steadfastness, trials and tribulations, Prayer, Persecution against Ahmadis in Arab, Pakistan and India, Sacrifices of Ahmadies, Believers will be successful, 1974, Martyrdom of Muhammad Azam Tahir, Demise of Ayaaz Ahmad, Imtiaz Ahmad, Anwar Kahlon sahib, Mansoora Wahab sahiba
  • صبر اور ثبات قدم ، ابتلاء اور مصائب، دعا، عرب، پاکستان اور ہندوستان میں احمدیوں پر سخت حالات، احمدیوں کی قربانیاں، مومنین کی فتح ہوگی،۱۹۷۴، محمد اعظم طاہر صاحب کی شہادت، ایاز احمد ، امتیاز احمد، انور کاہلوں صاحب اور منصورہ وہاب صاحبہ کی وفات۔
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)