Friday Sermon: Divine attribute of Al Wahab (The Bestower)

November 14th, 2008

Huzur gave a discourse on the Divine attribute of Al Wahab (The Bestower) in the Friday Sermon today.

Explaining its meanings from the Arabic lexicon Huzur said it is an attribute of Allah the Exalted which signifies One Who bestows and confers on His servants. With this reference the word ‘Wahib’ is also applicable.

Huzur said this word is also used for humans but the true Wahab is only Allah the Exalted Who confers when asked and even when not asked.

If a true believer ponders over this, he/she will witness demonstrations of conferment at all times and this indeed identifies the Living God for us.

On the contrary one who sees with a worldly eye only deems the material world to be the source of everything.

Huzur said Allah has taught us many prayers with reference to this Divine attribute. Today Huzur wished to speak about one aspect of these prayers.

In order to draw the attention of the believers towards honouring the dues of their creation attention is drawn to pray for one’s spouse and one’s offspring so that virtues may continue from one generation to another.

Huzur cited verse 75 of Surah Al Furqan, its translation reads: “And those who say, 'Our Lord, grant us of our spouses and children the delight of our eyes, and make each of us a leader of the righteous.”

Huzur said this is a most comprehensive prayer in which one seeks one’s spouse as well as children to be the delight of one’s eyes. The scope of the blessings of this prayer is limitless which is beyond the grasp of man. Upon acceptance of this prayer not only are one’s spouse and offspring the delight of one’s eyes in this world, rather, due to one’s virtues Allah continues to bestow even after death.

One’s offspring continue the virtues and pray for the elevated status of their deceased parents.

Huzur cited verse 18 of Surah Al Sajdah, the translation reads: “And no soul knows what joy of the eyes is kept hidden for them, as a reward for the good they used to do.”

People who are thus bestowed are those whose level of taqwa enables them to worship Allah, spend in His cause and do other virtuous acts. They wake up at night and supplicate to Allah to tread the straight path and for their children to tread the straight path and seek that ‘delight of eyes’ the knowledge of which only Allah has.

This is the prayer that is made by people who are ‘servants of the Gracious God’ and who try and leave behind a progeny that is firm on taqwa. Allah has indeed drawn our attention to a most significant aspect through this prayer, that is, we should not simply seek the pleasure of God for ourselves, rather also for our future generations.

Each one of us needs to self-reflect whether while making this prayer we fulfil each others’ rights, whether we fulfil the rights of our children that would lead them to taqwa? If the husband and wife do not adhere to taqwa themselves how can they expect their children to abide by it and how can they expect to derive all the spiritual advantages of adhering to taqwa, including the blessings of Khilafat.

Certainly the beneficence of Khilafat is conditional to ‘good works’ (Amaal e Saleh). If there is an absence of taqwa there can be no mutual ‘delight of the eyes’.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that may Allah have mercy on that person who wakes up at night [to Pray] and also awakens his wife and if she hesitates he sprinkles some water on her face. Allah have mercy on that woman who wakes up at night and also awakens her husband and if he hesitates she sprinkles some water on his face. Huzur said the duty is mutual.

Huzur said he receives complaints about some men that let alone wake up at night, apart from the Fajr Salat they show indolence. How can such people say the prayer of; ‘Our Lord, grant us of our spouses and children the delight of our eyes…’ and hope for it to be accepted. How can they search for delight of eyes in their offspring? Indeed Allah is the Master of everything and can grant as He wishes but it is also His command to reform oneself if His beneficence is to be sought.

Indeed the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that a father cannot leave a better gift for his children than a good, moral upbringing. Huzur said good upbringing is only possible when one’s own standards are also sound and worthy of emulating.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that may Allah make our spouses and children the delight of our eyes and this can only be when one lives the life of a servant of the Gracious God and gives precedence to God in all matters. He said that the verse also confirms that if one’s offspring is righteous then they have the status of Imam.

Huzur said for the Tarbiyyat of women, men have to take the first steps and when they are both virtuous, so shall be their children.

Referring to the aforementioned Hadith Huzur said it is only possible to awaken one’s spouse for Prayer in the early hours if there is mutual love and affection and an understanding that they have to help each other with the night time Prayers. Otherwise, Huzur said, there are instances where wives are subjected to harsh words when they try to waken husbands for Prayers. In some cases husbands even resort to hitting the wives. This is effectively what happens in some households. Gradually, the women withdraw and carry on with their own Prayers or follow the path of the husbands. As a consequence the children lose out in religious terms.

In order to make the children ‘delight of eyes’ parents have to first reform themselves and set examples.

Reading from an extract of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) writings Huzur said the expectation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) from each Ahmadi man was that he should lead in spiritual matters. Huzur said his words should rouse us.

In earlier times women were uneducated but times have changed and with the grace of Allah with education women now have awareness and are very perceptive. There are a lot of women in the Community who agonize over the ills of the men. Women are more concerned than men about the upbringing of the children. Sometimes the ways of the man make a wife seek separation which adversely affects the children. Men are responsible for all this.

This is most fortunate that Allah has taught us a prayer for our good in this world and the hereafter and that of our children and from this He only wishes us to learn ways and means of seeking good in this world and the hereafter and is bestowing us.

We need to engage in introspection and try and tread those paths that help to attain Allah’s pleasure. We should maintain the peace of our homes, find delight in our children and each Ahmadi household should abide by taqwa. This is what will derive full benefit from Khilafat and will make us those who honour the dues of being part of the Community of the slave of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

One cause of marital disharmony is when men demand a male offspring. Huzur cited verse 50 of Surah Al Shura, the translation reads, “To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He pleases. He bestows daughters upon whom He pleases and He bestows sons upon whom He pleases;” Huzur said to lay blame on any person in this matter is forsaking taqwa. In this age of advanced medicine - that Allah has taught man - there are many who have benefitted, however, in this matter Allah conveys that He alone is the Creator and He does what He pleases. Therefore in some cases, even extensive medical treatment does not produce the result that is desired.

Huzur mentioned the ill-treatment some fathers extend to their wives and daughters which create long-term negative feelings in the daughters. Huzur said some of the incidents that come to his attention are astonishing where people treat children in ways that are reminiscent of pre-Islamic ignorance when people’s faces would darken at the birth of baby daughters.

Huzur related an account of an Ahmadi man from a while ago who married four times for a male offspring and with each wife he had daughters. Eventually his first son was born to the very first wife.

Huzur said those who wish for children or those who wish for sons should pray to Allah and seek from Him as it is taught in the Holy Qur’an (37:101 and 3:39). He said when people express their desire to have a son to me I always tell them to ask Allah for pious and healthy children. At times daughters serve the parent more and are more virtuous.

Huzur receives many letters from parents who are concerned about their children going wayward. He said what is important is that the children are virtuous otherwise it is of no use.

Huzur gave the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) definition of Sahileen (righteous) as those who have no spiritual ailment and who have no element of sedition in them.

Desire to have pious children and prayers in this regard are of no avail unless parents do not keep an eye on themselves, unless parents also become Saliheen and abide by taqwa. There is a need to be mindful of this and to put it in practice. May Allah enable all of us to do so.