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Friday Sermon: Essence of Worship of Allah

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

After reciting Tashahud and Surah Fateha Huzoor Aqdas said:

It was mentioned in the last sermon that Allah says that having perfect faith in Him, considering Him sovereign over everything, acting upon all His commandments and asking only from Him, is necessary for the acceptance of supplications. What are the commandments of God? That has also been said in the last sermon. God has given us a great book in the form of the Holy Quran that contains all the do's and don'ts of Allah's commandments.

God asked His men to accept all His commandment in the Holy Quran, so that their prayers will be accepted, they will get the right guidance, see His nearness due to that guidance, tread on the right path, do the good deeds, refrain from the evils, serve the purpose of their creation and fulfill their covenants among them by following the high moral standards. Are all these things needed only during Ramadan? Shall we be considered guided if we act upon God's commandments only in Ramadan? Ramadan comes to remind us about these things so that by training ourselves, putting our efforts together and watching one another, we shall seek the path for the nearness to Allah.

Some of us are better in good deeds, better in praying and better in morals. During these days, we get together and get a chance to observe each other and consequently we pay attention to our condition. Both individually and collectively, we should become good in this world and the hereafter by following His cmmandments and attain His nearness while trying to reach the 'standard of acceptance of supplications'.

There are innumerable commandments in the Holy Quran that Allah has ordained us to do or not to do which we should peruse every now and then. At this time, I have selected a few of them. The first and the foremost that we should always keep in view and it is also the purpose of our creation is ' to worship God'. As Allah says and as the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) has stated that He created the jinns and the humans so that they worship Him. I have repeated it several times, drawing attention to this matter, but many of us remember it for a few days and then forget it. So much so and it is in my knowledge that some of those who have dedicated their lives, know the faith, and understand its importance, don't pay attentin to it.

And the office holders, who try to show the power of their knowledge in the meetings and explain in the light of Quran and Hadith if someone's case is presented... some of them don't keep these basic commandments in view as they should. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says at a juncture that we should understand it very well that Allah's purpose to create us is that we worship Him and become 'His' in such a way that the world in itself should not be our goal. It doesn't mean that we should not engage in the worldly matters. Do it but the responsibility of worship, the purpose of our creation should be given the first preference.

These days, in Ramadan, it is being acted upon generally. In the western countries, it is about 11 p.m. by the time Isha' is done. Some offer Taraweeh and when they reach home after that, it is about midnight. Then they may be getting up for Sehri around 2 o' clock, and some offer Nawafal and come back for prayers to the mosque. This proves that if there is a will and a practical effort and not merely the awareness of the importance of the knowledge...then they will not show lethargy towards prayers, which is the pinnacle of worship. So in this Rmadan, those who have dedicated their lives, those who have pledged to be the front-runners among those who prefer faith over the worldly affairs, will incline with all their resources.

The office bearers who the people look forward to and have picked them for being the best among them should be an example for them. It is not only during the Ramadan that the they need to pray according to Allah's ways and keep counting the days as they pass and say that now only about twelve days are left and then we will return to the routine or to their old ways. They should try to incorporate the training of the Ramadan, their struggle and their attention toward the prayers in their lives permanently.

I will present more excerpts from the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) regarding this matter. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says at a place that it doesn't behove a believer that he should make something else as his goal while God's intention to create human is only His worship. The rights of 'self' are legitimate but its undue advances are not. Its rights are allowed to enable us to keep praying. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that your 'self' has right over you. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that this right should be exercised with moderation. We should exercise them for our own good because there are certain things when not fully employed, ceartain senses will go out of action. It is necessary to use the God given characteristics and powers alongwith the purpose of prayers; not using them will be a denial of His blessings.

There was a female companion of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), who remained in a bad shape. She would never adorne herself or comb her hair. Someone reported to the Holy Prphet mentioning her ways. When the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) asked from her about the matter, she replied that why should she adorn herself as her husband is engaged in praying day and night. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) called for her husband and told him that his wife had rights over him. All kinds of rights must be observed. Health will be maintained and prayers will be offered properly if rights of 'self ' are fulfilled.

The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that undue use will eventurn the "Halal" into "Haram". As man has been created to worship Allah. It is obvious that to fulfill this purpose if something is taken more than it is needed, the Halal is rendered Haram due to this excess. How the person who engages all the time in human pleasures can do justice to worship? It is necessary that a believer should face bitterness in life, for he cannot do it if he engages in pleasures of life all the time. It is regretful that most people, when they attain adulthood, instead of understanding their responsibility and keeping their purpose of creation in mind, abandon God and incline towards the material world. They are so drowned in this world that they forget that there is a God. They come to know about Him at the time of death and majority of these world mongers are such that they are engaged in managing material wealth even at the time of their death.

All of us should prefer to worry about becoming the ones who fulfill the purpose of their lives. During and after this Ramadan, we should focus on worshipping God and for that purpose, we should think about the commandment regarding populating the mosques. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that a human being should have a passion about attaining the closeness to God, which will make him valuable for God. So if a person becomes valuable for God, he will find the real guidance.

Allah says in Surah Al-noor (24:38): Such great men that no business or trade renders them forgetful of the remembrance of God, establishing prayers, or paying Zakat. They are afraid of the day when hearts and eyes will be full of fear. In this verse there is the example of those people who become valuable for God as has been mentioned by the Promised Messiah (peace be on him). And this distinction was achieved by the Holy Prophet's Companions more than anyone else. They became dear to God and for them the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said that they are the guides for us. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) cites the example of such a person who was engaged in business, dealing with thousands of rupees but was not forgetful of God, not even for a moment. The high achievement of a human being is to keep busy in worldly affairs and also never forget God. A packhorse is of no use if it trots well when not loaded but sits down when loaded!

Then the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that a fakir who abandons the world due to the chores involved in it, shows a weakness. There is no reclusiveness in Islam. We never say that leave the women and children and stop businesses of the world. The employee should fulfill his duties and the trader should do his business but they should prefer faith over this world. Both should go hand in hand.

Allah asks us to safeguard our prayers especially the central ones. If due to late sleeping time, it becomes difficult to join Fajr, then that becomes the central prayer and if due the busiess, Zuhr and Asr become difficult to offer then they become the central prayers. Safeguarding means to protect things from going to waste. A believer is obedient only if he says the prayers on time and does justice to them and not by coming and leaving quickly by prostrating like hitting the ground with head.

Then there is a commandment about fulfilling and abiding by the covenants. These include bindings to Allah and the contracts with the human beings. Then there are the obligations of the conditons of Bai'at and the promise of preferring faith over the world. All these remind us of our obligations to God. They also draw our attention to the obligations to His men. Allah says in the Holy Quran (16:92): and you fufill your promise with Allah when you make it. And don't break your promises after affirming them when you have made God your Guarantor. Verily Allah knows what you do.

This doesn't mean that where you do not utter the name of God clearly, you can break your covenant. First every contract that you make must be based on justice and truthfulness. Allah says that the believer has to be judicious and truthful. Every contract that is based upon justice and truth will come under the guarantee of Allah. If the importance and reality of this matter is understood, the society can be purged of all kinds of disputes, frauds and allegations.

The problems in familes will also never arise because these are the covenants that are broken there as well. I have observed that because of the worldly greed, the incidents of breaking the contracts, deceiving and not fulfilling the verbal promises are increasing even among ourselves. These incidents not only bring bad name to our community but sometimes such people lose their faith as well.

When a man breaks a contract, he depends on lies. Allah has forbidden lying with stern warnings. Allah says (22:31): Shun therefore the abomination of idols, and shun all words of untruth.

Regarding this the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that he doesn't need to tell that we should not shed blood or commit murder because except for the extremely mischievous person, nobody raises his hand to shed blood unjustly. But I say that don't kill the truth by insisting on injustice. Accept the truth even if a child speaks it and don't be stubborn. Even if you find the truth on the side of the opponent, forsake the dry logic and accept the truth. Stay with and witness the truth even if it goes against your fathers, brothers or friends. Falsehood is no less than associating partners with Allah. Everything that takes you away from truth is an idol.

Then at a juncture, the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that God likens a lie to idolatory. As a fool leaves God and prostrates before a stone, so does the person who leaves the truth and the right path and makes a lie his idol, thinking that he will achieve his purpose in that way. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) continues to say that an affliction has plagued us that when we ask a person to leave this filth, he says that he can work without it. But he (the Promised Messiah (peace be on him)) wants to assure us that it is the truth that prevails at the end. Remember that there is nothing despicable like lies. Usually the world mongers say that those who speak the truth are arrested. But how can I believe that while seven lawsuits were filed against me and by grace of Allah, I never needed even one word of lie and I was never defeated in those cases. If the truthfuls start getting punishment, nobody will ever speak the truth. Those who get punished even while speaking the truth, it is due to their hidden bad deeds. So prostrating humbly before Him, we should always keep asking for forgiveness so that we are not caught for any hidden bad deed.

One of the commandments of God is that a sign of the righteous is that they suppress their anger and forgive people. Forgiving means to completely foerget a crime committed against oneself and forgive. Enumerating the rewards of forgiving, the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) explains that we should remember that there is a dangerous enmity between intellect and anger. When passion and anger overwhelm, the intellect can't prevail. But one who is patient and shows forbearance, is given a light which freshly illuminates the power of his intellect and thinking. Then a brightness is created over the light. As the heart and brain are dark under anger and passion, a night falls over darkness.

Then Hazoor says at another place that remember that the person who is harsh and flies into a rage, can never talk using wisdom and insight. Foul mouthed and unbridled, the lips are deprived of and kept away from the spring of the subtleties. The wisdom and rage cannot stay together. Rage is half of insanity. When it flares up, it becomes complete insanity. A man should use his powers appropriately and at justifiable occasions. For example there is a power of passion. When it is out of proportion, it foreruns insanity. There is only a little difference between anger and insanity and madness. Even if one is your opponent, don't talk to him in a rage; talk wisely. So, where Allah's commandments take us closer to God, they also revive our wisdom and with that a man is saved from many enmities and losses.

The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that there are two forces i.e. suspicion and rage that make a person crazy if they run out of proportion. Allah says in the Holy Quran (49:13): O ye who believe! avoid most of suspicions; for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not, nor back-bite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his brother who is dead? Certainly you would loathe it. And fear Allah, surely, Allah is Oft-Returning with compassion and is Merciful.

The first thing that is commaded to be avoided in this verse is suspicion. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says that suspicion is such a disease and calamity that makes a man blind and throws him in a dark well of death. Remember that all the defects and vices generate from suspicion. For that reason Allah has forbidden it vehemently. If a suspicion arises against a person, one should abundantly ask for forgiveness and pray to God so that he escapes that sinfulness and its consequences.

The second matter that Allah has forbidden in this verse is spying. Digging out one's weaknesses or spying on others and trying to find out something about one that he doesn't want to tell, create vices.

The third commandment is that don't backbite. Backbiting is like eating the flesh of one's dead brother and we will loathe it. When asked, the Holy prophet said that backbiting is to relate a true matter about someone in such a manner that if he is present he will not like it. And if that matter is non-existent in him then it is called calumny. A believer doesn't do things that create problems or disruptions in the society. Neither backbite nor slander.

In Ramadan, when we want to be righteous, to get closer to God, and to see our supplications accepted by God, we should try hard to refrain from these vices and try vigorously to act upon the commandments of Allah. May Allah grant us the ability that acting upon His commandments, we should become closer to Him and continue to do good deeds even after the Ramadan. We should become His men and become the ones who follow Him perfectly.

Hazoor announced that Namaz Janaza of Ch. Khalique Ahmad Sahib who was martyred in Karachi, will be said after the Friday prayers.

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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)