Huzur continued with the subject of Salat in his Friday Sermon today. He cited verse 19 of Surah Al Fatir (35:19), the translation reads:
‘And no burdened soul can bear the burden of another; and if a heavily laden soul call another to bear its load, naught of it shall be carried by the other, even though he be a kinsman. Thou canst warn only those who fear their Lord in secret and observe Prayer, And whoso purifies himself, purifies himself only to his own advantage; and to Allah shall be the return.’
Huzur said the commandment for Salat is fundamental and without it religion cannot be fulfilled. Indeed in the very beginning of the Holy Qur’an after faith in the ‘Unseen’ it is observance of Salat that is mentioned. In fact even before that in Surah Al Fatiha we pray to Allah saying: ‘You alone do we worship’.
Huzur said today he would further elucidate the merits of Salat in light of the Holy Qur’an, Hadith and the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Huzur said he had thought of giving a discourse on another subject today but upon reflection and in light of reports from the Tarbiyyat secretary of UK and Sadr Lajna USA he felt it necessary to speak further on the subject of Salat. Huzur said just because he had mentioned UK and USA other countries should not consider that they have achieved the requisite standard of Salat, in fact the high standard of Salat that would bring satisfaction cannot been seen anywhere. Some office-holders express optimism with regard to observance of Salat whereas no undue optimism should be expressed in context of Salat unless every single Ahmadi is 100% firm on the requisites of Salat.
Huzur said while we are in a thankful frame of mind in terms of the Khilafat Centenary we should be most mindful of the key principle of belief (i.e. Salat) because Khilafat is only promised to those who have belief.
Commentating on the Quranic verse recited at the beginning Huzur said it draws the attention of those who fear their Lord in secret to stay alert with regards observance of Salat and try and keep the ‘self’ pure, they should never entertain the thought that indolence about Salat is acceptable. Huzur said all this is to make weak individuals like us heedful of the Hereafter and the fact that we all have to return to Allah – this would make us think about keeping the self pure and indeed the best way to keep the self pure is through observance of Salat.
Explaining the concept of ‘fear of God’ Huzur said it is like the fear of losing a dear one through making them unhappy. Such a feeling for Allah would encourage our love for Him and we will be that much more heedful not to incur His displeasure and we will be drawn towards observance of Salat. Otherwise, bai’at on its own is not a source of salvation.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that among the deeds of people the first accountability will be of Salat. Allah will ask His angels to see if His servant accomplished the Salat or left it incomplete. If the person has made any nafl (optional) worship it will be used to make up any deficiency in the fardh (obligatory) worship. Huzur said in light of this how critical it is for us to make arrangements for our Salat.
It is indeed a tremendous favour of Allah on the Ahmadis that having accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) we are now a Community which is strung together in a manner of a string of pearls, we have an appreciation of rising and sitting down at the gesture of a hand, then how much mindful should we be about something that generates discipline the most and something that will be of great avail to us even in the Hereafter?
Huzur read an extract of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to signify the importance of Salat. The translation of this extract can be read on pages 308 -309 of Essence of Islam Vol. II.
Citing verses 23-24 of Surah Al Ma’arij (70:23) Huzur explained true believers are regular in their Salat and worldly matters are not a hindrance in their observance of Salat, these are the people who have high morals and this indeed is a sign of a true worshipper of God. Huzur said there are some who say their Salat regularly but their surroundings are not safe from them; indeed one should observe Salat with the intention to seek the pleasure of Allah. Huzur said it is a great blessing of Allah that we in the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) have understood the true message of Islam as brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), As for those who say their Salat with different intentions the Qur’an states in verses 5-7 of Surah Al Ma’un (107:5), the translation reads:
‘So woe to those who pray, But are unmindful of their Prayer. Those who show off.’
Huzur said certainly the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were not like this, therein is a warning for people to come. The Qur’an also states in Surah Al Nisa verse 143 (4:143) that those who seek to deceive Allah, He causes them to deceive themselves.
Huzur said we are fortunate that we are included in the ‘latter-ones’ who have been likened to the earlier ones. This tremendous blessing comes with a huge responsibility never to let observance of Salat slip, never to be deficient in fulfilling the rights of Allah and indeed the rights of His people. His favour in granting us guidance is immense and requires us to be extremely grateful and to turn to Him with absolute sincerity. Huzur said it is a matter of utmost gravity that not a single person among us should have the indolence that takes one away from faith and away from God.
Huzur read another extract from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about the merits of Salat. The translation of this extract can be read on pages 295-297 of Essence of Islam Vol II.
Huzur cited verses 2 & 3 of Surah al Mumi’nun (23:2) and said that the thing to remember is the Salat is the first rung of success for a true believer in every sense. This is conditional to the fact that Salat is offered with complete sincerity only for Allah, to seek His nearness as well as His blessings and pleasure, which indeed is the true objective of the existence of man. Huzur also cited verse 133 of Surah Ta Ha (20:133).
Huzur read further extracts from the august writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidating the merits and significance of Salat in a most eloquent manner.
In conclusion Huzur said these are the high standards of Salat that we do not simply have to attain and be regular at, rather every fibre of our being and our very soul should turn to Allah and prostrate to Him and our hearts should make entreaties that take us close to Allah, that bring about a revolutionary change that reflects the pleasure of the One God. May Allah make us experience all this.