Huzur cited verse 122 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:122) and gave a discourse on putting the beautiful teaching of the Holy Qur’an in practice.
Huzur said in his last Friday Sermon he had spoken with reference to the Holy Qur’an and why there is such animosity prevalent against Islam in the West and he had mentioned the Divinely promised triumph of Islam and the Divine promise of safeguarding of the Holy Qur’an. Huzur said those who are set to overtly or covertly attack Islam are going to continue doing so, however what is it that is required of us in such a situation?
What are the qualities that an Ahmadi Muslim needs to inculcate to prepare himself/herself to refute these attacks and partake in the defence of Islam for which he/she has made a pledge with the Imam of the age and be the recipient of the blessings which Allah has destined for those who put the Quranic teachings in practice. What exactly is required of a true believer? Huzur said he would elucidate this in light of the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the expectations that his true and ardent devotee has from us having further expounded the Prophet’s message to us.
Huzur said first he would like to say a little with reference to a book by the title of ‘Women Embracing Islam’. This book is not authored by one person rather is edited by a Karin van Nieuwkerk and is comprised of essays read at a conference held in 2003 at University of Nijmegan, the Netherlands, whereas the book was published in 2006 by University of Texas Press.
Huzur said the book, which is based on views of various people, begins by mentioning that for the past many decades interest in religion has been growing and after 9/11 there has been a distinct interest in the religion of Islam. Huzur said this is the impression of the anti-Islamic Christian and atheistic sections. The book says that whether those who convert to Islam realise it or not their inclination towards the religion is based on political reasons and consequently the religious and the political forces work in conjunction for them.
Huzur said the book also alludes to the fact that the first ever Muslim missionary to USA was an Ahmadi and his designation was a direct reaction to the work carried out by the Christian missionaries in India. Huzur said they seem to have imagined that his task was to create an environment conducive to the Muslim immigrants to USA and for this purpose efforts were made to convert the Caucasian population but only a few of these people could be converted. The book says the immigrants who this mission was seeking to ‘populate’ in USA expelled them (Ahmadis) from the pale of Islam. This is when the Ahmadis decided to focus their attention to the African-American community in terms of converting them to Islam by telling them that their roots were in the religion of Islam and that African-Americans and African-Muslims could unite as a force. Other Muslim groups also took advantage of this and this is the reason why Islam is spreading among the African-American community. The book says the second biggest group to convert to Islam is that of Caucasian women. Huzur said although they have twisted the facts about our Community it is clear their research is good but their citation is not accurate. Huzur said when a Caucasian lady who had newly converted to Islam was asked for her reasons for the conversion she replied that by saying the Shahada one becomes as innocent as a new born baby. Huzur said indeed it is facts like these that the anti-Islamic sections cannot tolerate. Huzur said it also appears that a section of society among them is questioning the concept of ‘penance’.
Huzur said the onslaughts on Islam are carried out systematically and as this compilation of essays has some positive things to say about Islam and as long as such positive aspects are brought to the fore it was essential for the anti-Islamic elements to organise themselves, which they have.
Returning to his earlier point of what should be an Ahmadi Muslim’s part in a situation such as this Huzur said an Ahmadi declares in the pledge of allegiance (bai’at) the intention for spiritual development, this necessitates to work towards becoming an abd (servant) of God and to draw one’s attention to the teaching of the Holy Qur’an. Just as the Quranic verse recited at the beginning mentions ‘following the Book’, Huzur asked what exactly does this entail? Indeed it means to reflect on what the Book enjoins and what it forbids. Huzur said the Jews and the Christians would say to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that they too had their books, however, the Prophet told them that as they did not act on their books any more therefore their books could not give guidance anymore and that after the Shariah brought by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) it is only the Qur’an that guides to the right path. The lives of the Companions of the Prophet were a living testimony of this and they fulfilled all the rights of ‘recitation of the Qur’an’. Huzur said only those can fulfil the right of ‘recitation of Qur’an’ who do good works and indeed those who have joined the community of the Mahdi of this age and strive to act upon the commandments of this Book. Huzur said each Ahmadi should self-exam as to how much do they act upon the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.
Reading from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Huzur said reading the Qur’an in a parrot-like fashion is pointless, unless one reflects on the way it is arranged and compiled one does not do justice to its objectives. Huzur said Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) had drawn attention to correct pronunciation of the Qur’an and with the grace of Allah much was done to address this matter. Huzur said now there is a need to draw attention to translations of the Qur’an. The auxiliary organisations as well as the main Jama’ats should work on this. Ansarullah UK have started work on this via the internet, it should be made use of.
Huzur said once the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was asked how should the Qur’an be read and he replied that it should be read while reflecting and pondering over its message. When verses of Divine blessings are read one should seek blessing from Allah and when verses of Divine chastisement to earlier people are read one should seek refuge with Allah.
Huzur said now this is only possible when one is aware of the translation of what is being read. Huzur said many people have melodious voices and recite the Qur’an most beautifully, however the quality of their voice is of no advantage to them, indeed it is of advantage to one who is listening to their recitation and knows the meanings of what is being said.
Further elaborating the beauty of the Qur’an Huzur said it carries scientific facts which are being discovered hundreds of years later, indeed this fills one’s heart with praise and glorification of Allah. The Qur’an also speaks of ancient people who rejected the messengers of Allah and received the recompense for it. Huzur said a person who has awe of Allah and who understands the words of the Qur’an seeks Istaghfar on reading about these people and is grateful at being protected from this category of people and prays for protection in the future.
Citing a few Ahadith Huzur said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) enjoined not to go to sleep without reading the Qur’an and to read it in a manner that is worthy of it and to reflect on its words so as to attain prosperity. He also said that on the Day of Judgement the parents of one who has read the Qur’an and has acted upon it will have two crowns the luminosity of which will be more brilliant than the sun. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also said that one who reads the Qur’an and one who is a hafiz (has memorised the Qur’an) will be among those who are very noble and eminent and one who reads the Qur’an and puts its teachings in practice with great intensity will be doubly rewarded. He also said the cleaning of one’s heart entails being abundantly heedful of death and to read the Qur’an.
Huzur said some people consider reading the Qur’an with speed as some sort of expertise whereas the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to read the Qur’an slowly and unhurriedly. Huzur said no one could have as great and more profound understanding of the deep treasures of the Qur’an as the Prophet did. He read it slowly, comprehending the highest and most profound points of the words as he read them. Huzur said how much onus this puts on us to read the Qur’an with deliberation.
With reference to a Hadith Huzur explained the minimum time one is required to finish one reading of the Qur’an is a week, any quicker would not do justice to the message of the Qur’an.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) enjoined to read the Qur’an in a pleasant and melodious voice. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also encouraged recitation of the Qur’an in this manner. Huzur said this can be a form of Tabligh as some people are impressed by pleasant voice, they should be later explained the message of the recitation.
Citing verse 10 of Surah Bani Israel (17:10) Huzur said the message therein is for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Huzur said it is conditional for each believer to honour the right of the Holy Qur’an not just limiting it one’s own self but to carry it on to the next generation. It should be the concern of each believer that they and their next generation put the Quranic teaching in practice and are thus worthy to be the recipient of Divine blessings. Huzur said if each Ahmadi does not comprehend this point and is simply proud to be a believer of the Holy Qur’an then the Qur’an curses such an attitude.
Huzur read a few extracts from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expounding the beauty of the Holy Qur’an. He advised to value the blessing that the Qur’an is and which has been given to us, he said Qur’an is a Book compared to which all other instructions and guidance is naught.
Huzur said these are the expectations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) therefore we should make an effort with singular devotion and eagerness. Indeed we have to silence those who speak against Islam by virtue of putting the teachings of Qur’an in practice. Alluding to what Huzur had observed earlier he said the ‘research’ into Islam that is claimed to be underway is not to find any positive aspects – it is being carried out to alert certain powers and governments to take overt or covert actions.
It is the obligation of an Ahmadi to fulfil the right of ‘recitation of the Qur’an’ and to save themselves as well as the world. Those who have come into the fold of Islam will eventually come to Ahmadiyyat and for this each Ahmadi should be prepared.
While absurdities abound, it is our task to reflect and ponder over the Holy Qur’an more than before and to turn to God more than before; the God Who has granted us His Word. May Allah enable us all to do this.