Friday Sermon: True Commemoration of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)

March 13th, 2009

In his Friday Sermon today Huzur gave a discourse on the true commemoration of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

Huzur said it was 12th Rabi’ul Awwal (the third month in the Islamic calendar) a few days ago, which is the date of birth of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). A section of the Muslim world commemorates this day with great enthusiasm, in particular in the sub-continent, in Pakistan it is observed with much formality and fervour. Huzur said some write to him asking about it and indeed our opponents also query why Ahmadis do not commemorate this day. Huzur said he will explain the subject in light of the pronouncements of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which will elucidate that it is the Ahmadis who truly value the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

Huzur said there are many sections of the Muslim world who do not accept celebrating the day known as Milad-un-Nabi (observance of the day of the birth of the Prophet). The early Muslims of the first three centuries after the passing away of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had the greatest of love and devotion for him. They had an excellent knowledge of his Sunnah (practice) and were more fervent and keen than any other to follow his Sunnah and his Shariah (religious law). Despite this, history informs us that there is no mention of Milad-un-Nabi during the times of the Companions or Sahaba or the Followers or Tabi’in (generation of Muslims who were born after the Prophet’s passing away). The person who commenced this ritual was called Abdullah Muhammad bin Abdul Gada whose followers are known as Khatami and associate themselves to the lineage of Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) – this person was the founder of religion of ‘concealment’. These creeds practise concealing some aspects of Shariah while demonstrating other aspects of Shariah. The commemoration of 12th Rabi’ul Awwal was definitely an innovation in the faith of Islam. These people also commemorated the 10th of Muharram, Milad (observance of the day of birth) of Hadhrat Hassan and Hussein (may Allah be pleased with them both) also a day for Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), they commemorated the first and the middle night of the month of Rajab, the first night of the month of Shaban etc. Huzur said as he mentioned before, there is also a section of the Muslim world who do not commemorate any Milad.

The Imam of the age (on whom be peace) who God has sent in the world as Hakam and Adl (the arbiter) said that remembrance of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is most excellent and it brings about Divine grace. Remembrance of the prophets of God is meritorious but not when it is tainted with innovation which interferes with the Unity of God.

Huzur said the remembrance of the birth and the passing away of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) while relating his Seerah (character/conduct) is indeed good. However, what happens is that the conventions and rallies commemorating this end up having political significance. No convention in Pakistan would end on the Seerah, rather it would turn into an attack on Ahmadis with shameful accusations laid on the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Huzur said the maulwis held a convention at Rabwah and it is evident from reports received that their objective was political with malicious intent towards the Ahmadis. What would be the point of such a convention? The Prophet came as ‘mercy for all mankind’ (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) whose blessed model was such that he admonished his Companions to accept the declaration of  faith of a person regardless that he made it at the time of battle and while in mortal danger. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said simple remembrance of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is a fine practice, it enhances one’s love for him, the Qur’an also cites this. However, if harmful innovation is added to his remembrance then it is haram (forbidden). The zest for true obedience of the Prophet is generated by his remembrance. However the practice of rising on one’s feet during the proceedings of Milad in the assumption that the Prophet is present is brazen. Assembles such as these are usually made up of those who do not even offer Salat, who indulge in usury and who drink alcohol. What connection does the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has with such assemblies? 

Censuring the practice of some, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) never read the Holy Qur’an to bless bread. If one is to follow him sincerely can one prove that it was his practice to read the Qur’an to bless bread? Indeed, he liked to have it read in a beautiful and melodious manner – for instance when verse 90 of Surah Al Nahl was read out to him, it brought tears to his eyes with deep humility and with the love of God.  The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said he too liked to have the Holy Qur’an read out in a melodious voice. He said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has demonstrated a blessed model for us in everything and that is what we should aim to follow. A true believer can judge for himself/herself if the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) practised something or not. Why would it be that he never observed the day of the birth of Prophet Ibrahim (on whom be peace)?

Huzur said that commemoration of the day as such is not forbidden with the condition that no harmful innovation is involved. It also does not necessarily have to be associated with a particular date but even if it is, as long as no innovation, for example the idea that one derives sufficient blessing from the assembly and does not need to make any other effort, is involved, it is fine.

Next, Huzur cited some blessed aspects of the Seerah of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) with the perspective to making them a part of our lives. Huzur said some ask him if they can pray seeking the mediation of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Huzur said following his Sunnah to seek the pleasure of God is indeed his mediation.  This is what the prayer to be said after hearing the Adhan teaches us. Huzur cited verse 32 of Surah Al e Imran  ‘Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you and forgive you your faults. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ to further expound the point.

Huzur said God forbid it is alleged that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) attacked for worldly greed and thus conquered territories. All manner of accusations are made with reference to his blessed wives. Recently a most improper book has been written in USA. Reviewing this book a Christian maintained that such a vulgar book simply could not be read.  Huzur said these allegations are nothing new and have been going on since the very start. Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was sent a message through his uncle that if he stopped propagating his religion they would accept him as a chief, will confer rank and dignity on him and will present the most beautiful woman in Arabia to him. The response of the Prophet (on whom be peace) was that even if they put the sun on his one hand and the moon on the other he would never stop from the spreading the message for which he had been sent and no force could make him do so. He was indeed sent by the Master of the heavens and the earth, Who revealed verse 163 of Surah Al An’am ‘ Say, ‘My Prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds’ to him.  He was not interested in worldly rank and dignity but wanted to establish the kingdom of the One God on the earth and for this he endured all kind of pain and suffering and had it declared that every action and deed of his was for God alone. The significance of the worldly life or the significance of death is naught for one who has such mind-set. He counselled his people to adopt the exhortation of ‘follow me’ of (3:32).

Huzur said today the followers of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) are being persecuted, in particular in Pakistan. The persecution has reached Europe as well. Ahmadis have been harassed in Bulgaria on the behest of the Mufti of the country. Each Ahmadi should remember the terrible persecution the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) endured. What we experience is not even a fraction of that. If we attain the state where our life and our death is solely for Allah, then not only will we be the recipient of an everlasting life we will also be able to revive the spiritually dead in this life. For this we will have to set high standards of worship of God. Huzur began recounting a Hadith as related by Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) but interjected and said that the book he earlier alluded to is written with reference to Hadhrat Aisha to spread unpleasantness about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The Hadith Huzur recounted illustrates that while he loved his wives, his true beloved was Allah. Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) relates that once when it was the Prophet’s turn to stay at her house she was awakened during the night to find the Prophet prostrating before God supplicating  ‘O My Lord, my heart and my soul prostrates before you’. He would say ‘my eyes sleep but my heart is awake with remembrance of God’.

Huzur said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has taught us a prayer for every situation by his exemplary practice and this is a proof that his be all and end all was the Being of God. He exemplified to us that each action of a true believer can be an act of worship. For example, when he went to visit a newly-built house of a Companion he asked him what was the purpose of a particular window? The Companion said it was there for light and air.  The Prophet said that was fine but had he intended to place the window to be able to hear the sound of Adhan, he would have attained his other two objectives as well as reaped some reward from God. Huzur said the Hadith referring to husband putting a morsel of food in wife’s mouth as meritorious indicates that if it is done to seek the pleasure of Allah and for the purpose that God has placed an obligation on the husband to provide the livelihood of the family, it becomes a good act.  In another Hadith Huzur recounted that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) thus supplicated to God in prostration during Tahajjud ‘My body and my soul prostrates before You, my heart believes in You,  I am in a state of utter humility before You, whatever wrong I perpetrated on my soul is also apparent,  I implore You to forgive me my sins.’ When finished with his Prayer he said to Hadhrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) ‘Gabriel asked me to recite these words, you should also recite them.’  Huzur remarked at the way the perfect man thus expressed his perfect obedience to God - the perfect man who God had asked to declare that his Prayer and his sacrifice and his life and his death were all for Allah sought forgiveness. Huzur said in fact he was setting precedents and examples for us, teaching us never to be proud of any virtue.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) championed justice and equality. He was most concerned for his people not to adopt the ways of people before them who would have a separate sense of justice for the rich and influential and a separate sense of justice for the poor. Once a woman called Fatima who belonged to a wealthy tribe committed theft and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) passed judgement accordingly. Some Companions approached the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) for concession – this angered the Prophet and he said that even if it was his own daughter Fatima who had committed the crime, he would have passed the same judgement.  The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also disliked when people wished to be given a rank or a position. Huzur said the wish to hold a position has an element of self-importance. Some in the Community who lack moral training do have such desires and some – out of lack of knowledge – even vote for themselves. With the grace of God people have greater awareness now apart from the odd new comer. Huzur said the Prophet forbade wishing for position and voting for oneself means one considers oneself worthy of the position. Huzur said if one has the capability then this can be put to use by helping office-holders. If one wishes to serve for the pleasure of God, then why the desire to hold a position? Each Ahmadi should be mindful of this, the new comers as well as others. Some ‘old’ Ahmadis tend to commit excess in their assumption that they are experienced. The office-holders should be self-less, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that ‘an office-holder is the servant of the nation’ and that ‘a position/rank is a trust and man is but weak’. At times, Huzur said he corrects young people when they inform him that they hold such and such position [in the Community]. Huzur says he always corrects them and says that it should be ‘I serve in such and such way’ rather than I hold such and such position’.

Citing verse 9 of Surah al Maidah ‘O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.’  Huzur said after the triumph of Khyber over the Jews the land seized from the Jews was divided among the Muslims. The land had date orchards. During harvest one of the Companions who was on his own was murdered. There were clear indications that the Jews must have murdered him. When the matter was brought to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) he asked if people could swear that the murder had been committed by Jews. As there was no eye witness, none could swear that the murder was committed by the Jews. The Prophet decided to take oath from the Jews whether they had committed the murder or not. The Companions said the Jews were not to be trusted in this matter. However, justice demanded that their oath was taken.  The blood-money was paid from the baitul maal funds.

Huzur said today powerful robe-clad individuals hold assemblies which comprise of nothing more than abuse against the Ahmadis. By contrast observe the Companions who did not bear false testimony because they had not witnessed anything. Whereas these so-called standard-bearers of Islam rant making vulgar and petty accusations against the Ahmadis and then proceed to make reports to the police. The Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had said that the Jews were not to be trusted in matters of oaths. Today, on whom does this description fit? May Allah have mercy on the innocent people of Pakistan who are being deceived by these people. Allah has forbidden Muslims to take the life of another Muslim, but these people are spilling each other’s blood – and human life has no value for them.

Huzur prayed that may Allah have mercy on the condition of Muslims in light of the current state of affairs, may He enable them to tread the path of the blessed model of the ‘mercy for all mankind’ – and may He also enable us to follow the blessed model and to formulate our lives in accordance with it.