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Friday Sermon: Ways to Gardens of Paradise

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Ways to Gardens of Paradise

Ways to Gardens of Paradise


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

Friday Sermon was delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih V, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) at the International Center, Mississauga, Canada at the occasion of Jalsa Salana Canada 2012

After the recitation of Surah Al Fatihah, Huzoor (aba) began the sermon by expressing his gratitude to Allah Almighty for enabling Jamaat Ahmadiyya Canada to hold Jalsa Salana. These Jalsas are a source of receiving many blessings in the life of an Ahmadi Muslim, because it is an auspicious occasion held solely for the masses to congregate for religious purposes, where individuals are enabled to remember Allah, to be in the company of those who remember Allah, and to gain His favours. All these reasons indeed become a source of blessings from Allah Almighty. The Holy Prophet (saw) has also stated that participants in such occasions and gatherings which are held to gain nearness of Allah become heirs to the favours of Allah Almighty and take them towards Paradise. He (saw) said: Strive to walk in the gardens of Paradise. When the companions asked him to elaborate on this concept, Hadhrat Muhammad (saw) said that congregations held to remember Allah are such gardens indeed.

The objectives of these Jalsas are in reality to remember Allah and to strive in progressing towards the Love of Allah, with focus and attention towards prayers and supplications and to educate oneself even further about how to gain nearness to Allah. Similarly, we must also pay special attention towards fulfilling our obligations to our fellow human beings, again, to the end of gaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Then, this focus on prayers and obligations and worship will lead us towards the gardens of Paradise. In fact, fulfilling the obligations towards our fellow human beings has two aspects: one is that the person who is fulfilling the obligations reaps the reward, and the other is that the person whose obligations are being fulfilled also acknowledges the blessings of these spiritual conventions due to which his rights are being awarded. This should be the ultimate picture of such blessed gatherings where gratitude of Allah, mutual relationships and excellences in worship can flourish and progress. Fortunate amongst us are those who come to the Jalsa with this spirit and intention and implement these practices and as a result, they unlock the gates of Paradise not only for themselves but also enable others to walk in these gardens. One pious action leads to many such pious actions, which gather the rewards from Allah Almighty for all those individuals who initiated the pious actions.

Our Allah is a Loving Allah who rewards righteous deeds hundred and thousands of folds. Therefore, every individual should strive towards seeking this Love for our Loving God. The inauguration of Jalsas by the Promised Messiah (as) has given us the opportunity to achieve this goal: to roam among the gardens of Paradise. Thus, fortunate are those who shall gain the rewards and blessings of Allah Almighty by attaining the true purpose of these conventions. Each and every participant of the Jalsa Salana, men, women, young and old, must all strive towards this end.

The Promised Messiah (as) felt a great deal of pain towards the members of his Jamaat, and used to pray with anguish for them in these words: I pray until I exhale my final breath that may Allah Almighty purify the hearts of the members of my Jamaat and that may He extend the hand of His Mercy so that their hearts turn towards Him and that may He eliminate all malice and evil from their hearts and may He fill their hearts with love and purity. I have firm faith that my prayer will be accepted, and God will not let my prayers go wasted. I also pray that if there is an individual in this Jamaat who does not have the intention of gaining nearness to Allah, then he should be cut asunder from it and in exchange, a pious soul should replace him, whose heart is tender and is inclined towards the Divine.

These are words that reflect the condition of the heart of the Promised Messiah (as) and should render the heart of his true followers empathetic and compel them to turn towards Astaghfar and Tauba, and incline them to bow down before God asking for forgiveness and mercy. These words should make them realize about their obligations and duties towards their fellow human beings. Therefore, during these days, each and every one of us should turn to Tauba, Astaghfar, remembrance of Allah and durood. May Allah Almighty safeguard our faith, in fact, may He increase our faith and enable us to progress in our Taqwa. May our Astaghfar be pure and wholesome. May our prayers and worship become genuinely devoted and faithful. May the purpose of our duties towards our fellow human beings be truly to gain the pleasure of Allah Almighty.

The Promised Messiah (as) states: Unless and until our prostrations are filled with complete devotion, our supplications shall bear no fruit. Just like the meat and blood of sacrifices does not reach God Almighty, only Taqwa reaches God, similarly, physical prostrations are devoid of any reward unless our hearts are filled with Taqwa. The inclination of the heart means that one must fully obey the commandments of God, the bowing of the heart means that one should submit to His will, and the prostration of the heart means that one should abandon his own will to gain the pleasure of God Almighty.

This is the desire of the Promised Messiah (as) to see his followers established on the path of Taqwa, and for this he prayed fervently and profoundly. May Allah enable us to achieve this status. Let us hope that our worldly inclinations do not become an impediment in the path of this religious revolution that was the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah (as). In order to gain the pleasure of Allah Almighty and to become the recipients of the blessings of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as), each and every Ahmadi should renew his oath with a new energy and vigour that he shall make every effort to increase in his standards of attaining Taqwa. The Holy Quran directs the believers towards the path to attain the excellent state of Taqwa in many different places.

Taqwa means that every true Ahmadi Muslim must make every possible effort to stay away from sin and immorality, therefore Allah states that worship performed in its absolute essence will safeguard you from all evil. Let it be clear that worship in its true essence inculcates the fear of Allah in a person’s heart, but this fear is due to the love a true worshipper and a true Believer feels for Allah Almighty which leads him to gaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty, which is the ultimate purpose of creation itself. Allah Almighty states that “I have not created man and jinn, but that they may worship me.”

Huzoor (aba) said that the self-created objectives of life are most futile, as they conceal the purpose of creation as stated by Allah. Worldly objectives and desires are all that is left in the life of people who follow these self-created objectives. In actuality, the purpose as stated in the Quran is the recognition of and devotion to and worship of Allah. Man has no control over his birth and his death; only God has control over this. Similarly, God is the One Who has set forth the purpose of man’s life which is stated above. This is the standard every Ahmadi should strive to attain.

These days, the Western countries have invented many ways to attain worldly pleasures which lead to nothing but debauchery and immorality, which is in turn displayed to the whole world. This debauchery is labelled as fun and pleasure. These are people who do not understand and do not have the eyes and the hearts to see the truth and the purpose God has set forth for them. They pay no heed to God’s commandments, and are following their carnal instincts, which makes them worse than animals, let alone human beings. They have gone astray and follow their worldly desires.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that these people have forgotten God and His commandments, and are trying to seek and establish their own purpose and objectives in life. The final abode of these people is Hell.

Huzoor (aba) elaborated that the Mercy of Allah is All-encompassing, but many people do not benefit from God’s Mercy and drown themselves in worldly activities to the extent that they perish spiritually. The way to a tragic ending is when man does not follow the commandments of God, and does not worship Him the way He must be worshipped. Man has involved himself in vain and debauched activities. Pornographic videos are available freely such that man has turned himself into an animal by watching these. Huzoor (aba) said that sometimes he receives complaints that young or middle-aged Ahmadis are also involved in watching such videos or a little less but certainly futile movies. These activities lead to the destruction of family unit and divorces ensue. Huzoor (aba) admonished all Jamaat members to be fearful of Allah Almighty who has made it clear that such people who have gone astray shall be Hell-bound. The Promised Messiah (as) has also explained that if you wish to stay in my Jamaat, then you must abandon these futile and personal desires otherwise, stay away from Jamaat. Huzoor (aba) said that such people are generally distant from Jamaat and do not participate in Jalsas, however, if they do attend or if they listen to these instructions, then they should try to rectify themselves, or they should separate themselves from the Jamaat before Jamaat takes any action against such individuals.

Huzoor (aba) addressed the youth as well, saying that sometimes, they are not familiar with the rules of Jamaat or cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Therefore, they must also refrain from developing friendships with such individuals who are involved in debauchery and immoral acts, which can be addictive once started. The Promised Messiah (as) says that God says that many men were created to become the fuel for Hell; however, this Hell was created by the hands of these people themselves. They are invited to Paradise with clean and pure hearts, but they do not pay heed. Many think they are very smart and try to establish their own path to ‘Paradise’, but they reach nowhere except Hell. For such people, this world will also be Hellish and their final destination will also be Hell.

The Promised Messiah (as) also stated that do not think that these worldly luxuries and relationships will be the source of contentment to your heart. Not at all. The contentment and peace of the heart does not come from worldly and material objects; it can only come when a person annihilates himself in the love of Allah. The thirst for worldly objects cannot be quenched, in fact it only increases infinitely, such that people who pursue these will eventually perish. This fire is also like the fire of Hell, which does not let a person rest, but on the contrary creates this ravenous appetite for more and more till they succumb to their desires. Therefore, my friends, pay heed to these instructions. This fire that burns the heart and transforms it into darkness, like that of coal, that all-consuming fire is this love for the material world.

Huzoor (aba) said that a true believer must have the intention of gaining the pleasure of Allah in his every action, and crush the idols within his heart that incline him towards worldly desires. Only then can a Muslim become a Momin (true believer). Thus, during these days of Jalsa, God has given us the opportunity to make amendments, so each and every one of us should focus on his or her own condition and try to improve it, no matter how big or small the imperfections are. Sometimes it is the small wrongdoings that take a person to bigger evils. Remain busy in the remembrance of Allah. Gain nearness of Allah by performing Astaghfar and Durood. Cleanse your hearts of hidden idols. Be grateful to Allah, which will inculcate the love of Allah in your hearts.

The worldly favours that have been bestowed upon you in this country, try to make them the source of gaining Divine favours. God Almighty has said that your Taqwa will be the source of your respect, not your money or your worldly status. God says that the best among you is the one who is best in Taqwa. Many a strife that arise between members of Jamaat will resolve if we put these commandments into practice.

The Promised Messiah (as) says that prevention from evil is the best way to protect oneself from that evil. Allah Almighty will reward us for the smallest of our actions that are undertaken in order to gain His pleasure. The highest in stature is not one who has attained worldly luxuries, but one who has gained in righteousness. He also says that never cast an inferior glance on those brothers who are underprivileged. Do not consider yourself superior over others due to wealth or caste. According to Allah Almighty, the only one who is superior is the one who is Mutaqqi (righteous). He added that salvation is not dependent on one’s nation, nor on wealth, but Allah Almighty looks at your actions.

At another place, the Promised Messiah (as) has warned in strong words saying that in the eyes of Allah Almighty, the only respectable person is the one who is righteous. God will save only the righteous. This is a delicate stance and a person who is righteous cannot be at the same place as a person who is impure. Allah Almighty will save the righteous and destroy the malicious. Only God knows who is righteous, therefore one must be fearfully aware of this fact. Fortunate is the one who is righteous and unfortunate is the cursed one.

These sayings of the Promised Messiah (as) should suffice to spiritually revive an Ahmadi Muslim. The only way to protect oneself from evil is to make sure that his or her actions and words are one and the same so that he or she is enumerated amongst those who have attained salvation. The Promised Messiah (as) has enumerated three ways of attaining this salvation. The first is to perform good and righteous deeds, second is that every step you take should be towards righteousness (follow the model of the Holy Prophet (saw) whose actions were nothing but the Quran, hence the underlying message is to turn towards the Holy Quran), third is to beautify your actions by submitting completely to the Will of Allah Almightyand obedience of the Holy Prophet (saw). The Promised Messiah (as) said that the destiny of this Jamaat is nothing but success. Thus, fortunate are those who understand these fundamental concepts.

Huzoor (aba) said that many members of the Jamaat are indeed set upon these righteous ways, and it is obvious through their attitudes towards other members of the Jamaat. However there is room for much progress. May Allah Almighty enable each and every one of us to understand and implement these pearls of golden advice into our lives and may we become the recipients of the blessings that have been promised by God Almighty to the righteous, which is nothing but the reward of goodness. The Promised Messiah (as) states one must abandon the ways of debauchery, immorality, jealousy, malice, pride, vanity and all other evils and remember that only the pious will attain success.

Huzoor (aba) said that the environment that is created during the Jalsa provides us with a unique opportunity for us to ensure that we take the steps in the direction of safeguarding ourselves from all types of immoralities and evil inclinations and it also gives us the opportunity to partake in righteous acts that lead us to the pleasure of God and His favours. Congregational and communal efforts in the way of Allah, rather than individual efforts, will also incur the increased blessings of Divine favours. We shall become the witnesses of the fulfilment of those promises that were granted to the Promised Messiah (as), such as the victory will be bestowed on God’s Prophet. If we wish to savour the scenes of this victory, then every Ahmadi must strive in progress of their spiritual conditions. The Promised Messiah (as) says that it must be remembered that the righteous are informed of their reward within their lives. He said that in the initial periods, the Messengers of Allah met with disasters, one after the other, but the results of these difficulties and trials were nothing but success and eventual victory. He also foretold the progress of Jamaat in these words: I receive glad tidings about the success of the Jamaat, such that my grief and worries are taken away from me and these glad tidings strengthen my faith. I can already smell the fragrance of final victory in the favour of Jamaat.

Huzoor (aba) re-emphasized that this progress and victory has already been destined for the Jamaat. We must therefore raise our standards of righteousness so that we can be the witness of these successes. Every Ahmadi Muslim should benefit during the days of Jalsa and the upcoming month of Ramadan, and ameliorate themselves by making every humanly effort possible. May Allah enable each and every one of us to do so and enable each one of us to gather the blessings of this auspicious occasion. May we be the heirs of the prayers intended by the Promised Messiah (as) in favour of the participants of Jalsa Salana. Listen to the speeches quietly and the attendance should remain constant during all sessions and implement the instructions given during the educational and spiritual discourses that are presented throughout this Jalsa. Participants should cooperate with the organizers, and the duty holders must also discharge their duties with full responsibility. All participants and duty holders should remain aware of their surroundings at all times. May Allah Almighty enable all of you to do so. May God Almighty assist all of you in gathering the blessings of the Jalsa.

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Synopsis:
  • These Jalsas are a source of receiving many blessings in the life of an Ahmadi Muslim, because it is an auspicious occasion held solely for the masses to congregate for religious purposes, where individuals are enabled to remember Allah, to be in the company of those who remember Allah, and to gain His favours.
  • Our Allah is a Loving Allah who rewards righteous deeds hundred and thousands of folds. Therefore, every individual should strive towards seeking this Love for our Loving God. The inauguration of Jalsas by the Promised Messiah(as) has given us the opportunity to achieve this goal: to roam among the gardens of Paradise.
  • The Promised Messiah(as) states: Unless and until our prostrations are filled with complete devotion, our supplications shall bear no fruit. Just like the meat and blood of sacrifices does not reach God Almighty, only Taqwa reaches God, similarly, physical prostrations are devoid of any reward unless our hearts are filled with Taqwa.
  • Huzoor(aba) elaborated that the Mercy of Allah is All-encompassing, but many people do not benefit from God’s Mercy and drown themselves in worldly activities to the extent that they perish spiritually. The way to a tragic ending is when man does not follow the commandments of God, and does not worship Him the way He must be worshipped.
  • Huzoor(aba) addressed the youth as well, saying that sometimes, they are not familiar with the rules of Jamaat or cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Therefore, they must also refrain from developing friendships with such individuals who are involved in debauchery and immoral acts, which can be addictive once started.
  • Huzoor(aba) said that many members of the Jamaat are indeed set upon these righteous ways, and it is obvious through their attitudes towards other members of the Jamaat. However there is room for much progress. May Allah Almighty enable each and every one of us to understand and implement these pearls of golden advice into our lives and may we become the recipients of the blessings that have been promised by God Almighty to the righteous, which is nothing but the reward of goodness.
  • Huzoor(aba) said that the environment that is created during the Jalsa provides us with a unique opportunity for us to ensure that we take the steps in the direction of safeguarding ourselves from all types of immoralities and evil inclinations and it also gives us the opportunity to partake in righteous acts that lead us to the pleasure of God and His favours.
  • Huzoor(aba) re-emphasized that this progress and victory has already been destined for the Jamaat. We must therefore raise our standards of righteousness so that we can be the witness of these successes. Every Ahmadi Muslim should benefit during the days of Jalsa and the upcoming month of Ramadan, and ameliorate themselves by making every humanly effort possible.
  • یہ جلسے ایک احمدی کیلئے برکات کا موجب بنتے ہیں ، اور بننے چاہیئں کیونکہ ایک خاص ماحول میں اور صرف دینی اغراض کیلئے جمع ہونا ،اﷲ تعالیٰ کے ذکر کیلئے جمع ہونا ، اس کی رضا کے حصول کیلئے جمع ہونا ، یقینا اﷲ تعالیٰ کے فضلوں کو کھینچتا ہے۔
  • پس یہ ہے ہمارا پیارا خدا جو نیکیوں کو سینکڑوں گنا، ہزاروں گنا پھل لگاتا ہےاور اپنے بندے کی معمولی کوشش کی بھی اس قدر بڑھا دیتا ہے جو انسانی تصور سے بھی باہر ہے ، پس اس پیارے خدا کی تلاش ہر ایک کو کرنی چاہئے، حضرت مسیح موعودؑ نے جلسوں کا انعقاد کر کے ہمارے لئے برکات کے راستے کھولے ہیں ، جنت کی باغوں کی سیر کیلئے ایک وسیع اور بہترین انتظام فرما دیا ہے۔
  • حضرت مسیح موعودؑ فرماتے ہیں جب تک دل فروتنی کا سجدہ نہ کرے صرف ظاہری سجدوں پر امید رکھنا طمع خام ہے، جیسا کہ قربانیوں کا خون اور گوشت خدا تک نہیں پہنچتا ، صرف تقویٰ پہنچتی ہے ایسا ہی جسمانی رکوع اور سجود بھی ہیچ ہے جب تک دل کا رکوع و سجود اور قیام نہ ہو ۔
  • حضور نے فرمایا باوجود اس کے کہ خدا تعالیٰ کی رحمت وسیع تر ہے اکثریت اس سے فائدہ نہیں اٹھاتی ، اور اﷲ تعالیٰ کی عبادت کر کے اپنی دنیا و آ خرت کے سنوارنے کے سامان نہیں کرتی، اور اس کی بجائے اپنی خواہشات کی پیروی کر کے جہنم کے راستے کی طرف چل رہی ہوتی ہے ، پس اپنے بد انجام کو انسان خدا تعالیٰ سے دوری اختیار کر کے ، اس کی عبادت کا حق ادا نہ کر کے ، اس کے حکموں پر عمل نہ کر کے پہنچتا ہے۔
  • حضور نے نوجوانوں کو مخاطب کرتے ہوئے فرمایا کہ اسی طرح نوجوانوں کو بھی، نوجوانی میں قدم رکھتے ہیں ، اچھے اور برے کی صحیح طرح تمیز نہیں ہوتی ، گھر والوں نے بھی نہیں بتایا ہوتا ، جماعت کے نظام سے بھی اتنا زیادہ منسلک نہیں ہوتے ، ان کو بھی میں کہوں گا کہ یہ بیہودہ چیزیں دیکھنا، فلمیں دیکھنا، ایک نشہ ہے ، اس لئے اپنی دوستی ایسے لوگوں سے نہ رکھیں جو ان بیہودگیوں میں مبتلا ہیں کیونکہ یہ آ پ پر بھی اثر ڈالیں گی، ایک مرتبہ بھی کسی قسم کی غلاظت میں پڑ گئے تو پھر نکلنا مشکل ہو جائے گا۔
  • حضور نے فرمایا اﷲ تعالیٰ کے فضل سے احمدیوں کی بڑی تعداد تقویٰ کی راہوں کیلئے کوشش کرتی ہے ، اس میں کوئی شک نہیں، جس کا اظہار افراد جماعت کے رویوں اور قربانیوں سے ہوتا ہے ، لیکن ابھی بہت کچھ اس میدان میں آ گے بڑھنے کی ضرورت ہے ، خدا تعالیٰ ہم میں سے ہر ایک کو توفیق عطا فرمائے کہ ہم اس اہم بات کو سمجھنے والے ہوں ، تقویٰ پر چلتے ہوئے اپنی زندگیوں کو گزارنے والے ہوں ، اور اﷲ تعالیٰ نے ایک متقی سے جو وعدے فرمائے ہیں ان سے حصہ پانے والے ہوں ۔
  • حضور نے فرمایا یہ ماحول جو جلسے کا ہمیں مل رہا ہے ، اس سے فائدہ اٹھاتے ہوئے ہم میں سے ہر ایک کو اپنی برائیوں پر نظر رکھتے ہوئے ہر قسم کی برائیوں سے بچنے کی کوشش کرنی چاہئے، اور ہر قسم کی نیکیوں کو اختیار کرنے کی طرف بھرپور توجہ دینی چاہئے تاکہ ہم اس انجام کو حاصل کرنے والے ہوں جو ہمیں کامیابی سے اﷲ تعالیٰ کی رضا کو حاصل کرنے والا بنا دے ۔
  • حضور نے فرمایا پس یہ ترقی اور فتح جماعت احمدیہ کا مقدر ہے ، ہمیں اس ترقی کا حصہ بننے کیلئے اپنے تقویٰ کے معیار اونچے کرنے کی ضرورت ہے ، ان جلسوں کے دنوں میں اور پھر انشاء اﷲ کچھ دنوں بعد رمضان بھی شروع ہو رہا ہے ، اس سے بھی بھرپور فائدہ اٹھاتے ہوئے اپنے تقویٰ کے معیار ہر احمدی کو بلند تر کرتے چلے جانے کی ضرورت ہے۔
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)