Friday Sermon: Brief Analysis of trip to India

December 12th, 2008

After reciting Surah Al Fatihah, Huzoor (aba) mentioned that he had to cut short his trip to India, but he would like to present a few highlights of the trip, in keeping with his practice after returning from trips abroad. Although Huzoor (aba) had briefly discussed the salient features of the Calicut Jamaat in his Friday sermon delivered there, he presented a few more details of his tour today. Before reaching Calicut, he stopped in Chennai (previously known as Madras), where he participated in a Lajna program and was able to draw the ladies’ attention to their responsibilities. The Jamaat there numbers only a few hundred, but they are far advanced in their devotion and loyalty. MTA, a great blessing indeed, has united every Ahmadi into this bond of brotherhood and unity around the world, and plays a great role in inculcating the love for Khilafat. Many from this region have never been to Qadian, yet their discipline and love for Jamaat is tremendous and this primarily because of the training their elders have provided and then due to MTA. Ahmadiyyat had reached this part of India at the time of the Promised Messiah (as), as there is mention of 16 of his companions in this region. The progeny of those Companions, along with new converts make up the majority of the Jamaat, who are progressing in their bond with Khilafat daily.

Huzoor (aba) presented the history of this region briefly, stating that Christianity reached this area, known as Mt. Thomas, around 52AD through the disciple of Jesus, namely Thomas, who preached here for 15-16 years, and was murdered at the hands of an enemy. His body was buried in the city and later moved to the Vatican. It appears that Thomas came to this region in search of the lost tribes of Israel to give them the message of Jesus Christ (as) (groups of Jews had settled here a long time ago). It is recorded that it was Thomas who traveled with Jesus Christ (as) after his crucifixion, in the likes of Hazrat Abu Bakr (rz) who traveled with the Holy Prophet (saw) to Madinah, for security purposes. We find the mention of Jesus(as)’ disciple Thomas being in India in the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) as well. Today, signs of progress of Ahmadiyyat are visible in this region, where Huzoor (aba) also inaugurated a Mosque. Ahmadis are now spreading the message of the Muslim Messiah, which is the only way to salvation today.

Huzoor (aba) then went to Calicut, Kerala, which was the first city where Thomas actually arrived as there is a large Jewish population there, known as Malabari Jews, who settled here during the time of Prophet Solomon (as) when they arrived with the trade caravans. The converts that Thomas gained by preaching in this region are known as “Nasraani” or Thomas Christians, and believe in the Unity of God. There is a large population of Hindus, and Muslims reside there as well, yet there is an atmosphere of unity among followers of all religions, which is unaffected by inter-religious riots elsewhere in the country or the world. The people of Kerala are very tolerant by nature and make every effort to remove any type of differences among one another. Islam reached this region in the period of the fourth successor to the Holy Prophet (saw) through Malik bin Dinar, who traveled with Arab trade caravans, and the Raja of the time (Paroma) accepted Islam once he was convinced of its inherent beauties, and in fact, even traveled to Makkah. An Ahmadi family residing in this city claims to be the progeny of this Raja, making evident the blessings this Raja received from Allah that He enabled a part of his progeny to enter into the fold of Ahmadiyyat today. The literacy rate in this region of India is close to 100%, reaching above 90% for the Muslim population as compared to a much lower percentage in other parts of the country. Huzoor (aba) stated that this is a fertile land for Tabligh as people are ready to listen, they are tolerant by nature, there is no fear of Mullah and very less opposition, so much so that people try to eliminate any opposition that actually exists. Even the media of the opposition groups gave very conscientious reports about Huzoor (aba)’s trip to the region and all programs went well, without any hostility from the outsiders. The Mosque in Calicut is situated right in the heart of the city, which will by the Grace of God become the source of conquering the hearts of others. The State Government cooperated fully in providing security, and the people in general were large-hearted enough to accommodate whenever required. Huzoor (aba) said that Ahmadis of the region expressed their deep devotion and loyalty to Jamaat and this emotion was to be found in all of them, whether they were born Ahmadis or new to Jamaat. Their spirit of volunteerism is indeed worthy of mention; they hold important offices in the Jamaat and have a thirst to acquire as much knowledge about the workings of Nizam-e-Jamaat as possible, for the sole purpose of serving the Jamaat better. This is the superior quality of new converts that the Promised Messiah (as) wished to see enter his Jamaat, new “bai’ats” that are fruitful and healthy, who serve without any desire for reward. To obtain such new converts is only possible when Daaeen themselves will become models in their firm faith, who work only to gain the pleasure of God. The spirit of sacrifice present in the Ahmadis of this region is also notable, including their financial sacrifices. May Allah enable each and every Ahmadi to propagate, practice and implement the beautiful teachings of Islam, Ameen. In Calicut, a Lajna and Nasirat Ijtema was also held, attended by about 4000 participants, and a new sense of enthusiasm could be felt among all present. The Kerala Lajna is already among the top-ranking in India, and hopefully, other Lajna Majalis around the country will also take lead in progressing forward now. A reception was held in a hotel, where government officers, mayors and other prominent guests expressed their impressions about the beauties of Islam. Media gave great coverage to the event, and the message of the Islam reached hundreds of thousands of people through the interview published in the local newspaper in their local language.

From Calicut, Huzoor (aba) traveled to Cochin, where the inauguration of several mosques was held, although Huzoor (aba) could not personally visit all these mosques, despite the deep desire of the local residents. The non-Ahmadis of the region displayed their affection by decorating their homes and keeping the area clean and by providing great discipline in directing traffic, etc. The media gave great coverage to Huzoor (aba)’s tour, and by the Grace of God, the message of Ahmadiyyat reached huge numbers of people. At a reception where professors, engineers and an MP were present, one guest conveyed his view by saying that it is only the Ahmadiyya viewpoint that can bring peace to the world.

On the whole, the tour to the Southern region of India was highly successful and very fruitful in many ways. New avenues of tabligh were opened, matters of tarbiyyat were discussed, a new spirit of devotion was generated. Huzoor (aba) said that this new fervor will help those Jamaats to progress that have been lagging behind, and local Jamaats should take advantage of this new wave of publicity of Ahmadiyyat to propagate the message of Islam. It is only through love and affection and politeness that Ahmadis can spread this message. The Promised Messiah (as) has divided the population in three vast categories: the public, the common and the wealthy. Message to the public should be delivered in very easy words so that it is easy to comprehend, but it is difficult to propagate in this category because most are not able to grasp the message and are afraid of the Mullahs. The wealthy are also a difficult group to reach out to, because they are arrogant and egoistical in nature. The message delivered to them should be concise and filled with substantiating evidence of the teachings. The easier group to reach out to is the common people, who are not arrogant and understand the message easily. According to Huzoor (aba)’s observation, this region has a large population of the commoners, who are ready to listen, so reach out to them, the Christians and the Muslims alike, and guide them to the right path that leads to God. May Allah enable every Ahmadi to proliferate the message of Islam to the corners of the world, Ameen.