Friday Sermon: True meaning of Salat

June 26th, 2009

In continuation of the subject of his last Friday Sermon in which Huzur had concluded that only those households are exalted by God who partake of the light of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) today Huzur elucidated the matter in light of the instructions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

As a preamble Huzur said the purpose of creation is worship of God. The Imam of the age, who partook of the spiritual light of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) more than anyone else has thus guided us. It is a great favour of God that we have been enabled to accept the Imam of the age. Due to this we are constantly guided in every matter. After the Imam, by virtue of the established system of Khilafat regular counsel is given. The special connection between Khilafat and the Community is further strengthened with bai’at (pledge of allegiance). Guidance of Khilafat brings about reformation. Indeed, the rest of the Muslims are deprived of this.

Huzur said some days ago he had a meeting with Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. During this, at some point, Huzur told them that they did not put Huzur’s advice in practice. Huzur said later their Sadr sahib came to Huzur with a written apology. He was overcome with emotion when he came to see Huzur. Similarly members of his amila wrote letters of apology to Huzur.  Such is the connection of the Khalifa of the time and the Community that it fills one with praise and gratitude of God. In this materialistic age and in this materialistic part of the world there are people, who are endowed with worldly education and are engaged in worldly employments but demonstrate complete sincerity to Khilafat. This is only because the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has taught us ways to develop a connection with God. Our worship is – and indeed should be – purely for the sake of God. Other Muslims are deprived of this. Huzur said a while ago a non-Ahmadi from the literary circles who is also well-known in the media came to see Huzur. He expressed his surprise that despite the mosques [in Pakistan] being filled with worshippers as never before, despite an unprecedented number of people going for Hajj and many other pious works that he enumerated, why was it that no good outcome could be seen. He added they did not have a clear conscience; as soon as they leave mosques, distrust in matters ensues. Huzur said to him that our worship, our Salat and our virtues will only be of any avail if we reflect over ourselves. Expressing the Islamic stance merely through appearance and mode is not piety. Huzur said he was reminded of a remark of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘It is for people to observe your deeds but it is for you to examine your heart’. Huzur said the spirit of piety is only generated with the realisation that whatever one does is for the sake of God. For this, Huzur said, one has to scrutinize one’s heart. Huzur said the other thing Huzur told him, was that he may not agree, but the fact remains that without accepting the Imam of the age, virtues cannot be rightly directed. The reason why consciences and matters are not clear is that without accepting the Promised Messiah and without accepting the Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya their reverence cannot be accurate.  Our Qur’an and Shariah are the same but their correct perception and insight has been granted to the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). He is the one who has developed love and humility for God and love for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in our hearts. Our worship will be beneficial for us as long as we value this and as a result continue to scrutinise our heart.  Each Ahmadi is obligated to ponder over the words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) – those who can, should read them and others may listen.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated:

‘In the phrase: Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help; Allah the Supreme urges His servants to put forth, in their obedience to Him, the most energetic effort, standing upright, constantly responding to His call with: Lord we spare no pains in our striving and in observing Thy commands and in seeking Thy pleasure; but we seek Thy help and Thy protection against pride and self-esteem and beg of Thee to grant us the strength that would lead us to Thy guidance and to winning Thy pleasure. We are firm in our obedience to Thee and in Thy worship, so write us down among those who submit to Thee. There is yet another point to be noted in this context. The worshipper declares: Lord we have adopted Thee alone for worship, preferring Thee over all else and we adore nothing save Thy countenance and we believe in Thy Unity.

In this verse Allah, the Lord of Glory and Majesty, has instructed the use of the first person plural , conveying thereby that this prayer is for the benefit of all brothers and not only for the benefit of the supplicant. Thus Allah urges the Muslims towards mutual accord, unity and love and requires that a supplicant should put himself to hardship for the promotion of his own well-being and should concern himself with and strive to meet his brother’s needs as he is concerned with and strives to meet his own needs, making no distinction between himself and his brother, and should be his brother’s well-wisher, with all his heart as if Allah, the Sublime has commanded: O My servants, give one another gifts of prayer as brothers and friends exchange gifts, and widen the scope of your prayers and your motives and your aims, making room in them for your brethren and become like brothers and fathers and sons in mutual affection.’

(Published translation of the extract Huzur quoted taken from ‘Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Vol. I p. 191)

Huzur said in order to attain pious result of one’s worship one needs to widen one’s intentions and take them beyond one’s own needs. If there is no mutual accord once Salat is over the worship is meaningless. Much negativity is heard at others’ mosques.  What effect must it have on the worshippers who offer their Salat behind those so foul-mouthed? Huzur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always enjoined his Community to be steadfast and patient. Recently there have been some mishaps in India and Huzur has received some edgy letters. Huzur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said not to be harsh with the opponent, not to be verbally abusive in return of verbal abuse. He said our creed is to do good to one who does evil and the matter of their ill-treatment should be left with God. Huzur said this is what results in realisation of prayers and this is what each Ahmadi should inculcate. Merely accepting the Messiah will not be beneficial – in order to attain high moral status this teaching has to be put in practice.

Huzur said Salat is a fundamental of the Muslim faith and anyone who calls him/herself a Muslim – even those who do not offer it - fully understand this. Unfortunately a large section of people, despite recognising it to be a significant religious obligation, does not avail of it. This is because they do not offer it while understanding its essence and do it for ostentatious purposes. Even those who try to focus, fail to do so because their so-called religious leaders have kept them away from the beneficence of the spiritual fountain that God has generated in this age. God appointed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in this age to transform the spiritual condition of people and to re-establish God’s final Shariah.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that despite offering Salat and following other fundamentals of faith some people do not get God’s help and succour and there is no visible difference in their moral deportment. This is because they offer the Salat as a mere ritual. Real Salat is one that affects both the mind and the soul. If one sows a seed, tends it well, and after a couple of months there is no growth one has to conclude that the seed was defective. If a person practises all the fundamentals of faith but there is no special sign of God’s succour it has to be concluded that the ‘seed’ he is trying to implant is flawed. Huzur said the standard of worship of God that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has set for us is that it should enhance our connection with God and its effect should also be seen in societal connections. Some people only pray for personal benefit and then say their prayers are not accepted. They set personal gain as the standard of connection with God. Whereas God has said that He will try us with the loss of life, wealth and children.  Our worship should be to attain nearness to God and for our peace of mind. In doing so, if we are stepping towards improvement, if to attain God’s pleasure we are endeavouring for peace and accord in the society then this is a pious outcome of our worship, whether our individual prayers are fulfilled or not. Nonetheless our personal connection with God increases and it is for this very reason that the advent of the Promised Messiah took place. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that Salat does not signify what is offered as a ritual, rather it is the worship that fills one’s heart with compassion and melts it. He said that sincere Salat puts our worldly life as well as the Hereafter in order.

Huzur said this is just a fraction of what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has enjoined us. When we assert to the world that they may ask us why, despite worshippers filling mosques there is still disorder about, we should also be fully conscious of our own selves lest we forget the purpose of our creation for the attainment of which we have come into the bai’at of the Messiah. Huzur said whereas his counsel was for the Community in general, the office-holders, workers and life-devotees should take note in particular. If the office-holders and life-devotees will pay heed, the general spiritual condition of the Community will improve along with our mosques being populated. With exemplary office-holders, people in general will develop piety. Personal knowledge, judiciousness or excellent organisational skills cannot benefit an individual as an Ahmadi nor can the Community derive any durable benefit from them if they lack fear of God and if their worship is not sincere. May God enable us to attain the expectations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

Next, Huzur remembered Sahibzadi Amatul Qayyum sahiba, who passed away a few days ago. She was the second daughter of Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with her) and wife of late Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad sahib. She was born in 1916 and took her Maulwi Fazil (Islamic scholarship) as well as passed F.A examination. She served as Sadr Lajna Washington, USA for four years. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) appointed her as an honourary member of the USA Majlis e Mashawarat. Huzur said with the grace of God she was mentally alert till the end. She would relate early incidents and about Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). She was most charitable and regularly supported widows and orphans. She also gave to various international charities. She offered her Salat with deep devotion. Huzur said he had the occasion to witness her offering her Salat many times. She had a special bond with God. Despite her husband’s high office she was most humble and modest. In their condolence letters to Huzur many women have expressed about her humility. She had a great sense of honour for religion and for Khilafat. She was very particular about her purdah and if she did not recognise a visiting youngster relation she would maintain her purdah until the introduction was made.

She did not have any children of her own but had adopted the son of her sister Sahibzadi Amatul Jameel Begum sahiba. She gave him a lot of love and always undertook his Tarbiyyat. He has written to Huzur that she would relate brief stories with reference to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in his childhood and also to his children. Huzur said Zahir Ahmad (her adopted son) has written that she would read the Holy Qur’an with great reflection and had made notes on pages upon pages. She had a particular love for Khilafat. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) was her elder brother but she had a very special bond with him as the Khalifa of the time. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on her) was her younger brother, yet after his Khilafat she showed him the utmost of respect. During the first Jalsa Salana at Islamabad Tilford, she was told that Huzur was asking for her. She promptly got up and started walking and the person who was to accompany her had to run to catch up. Huzur said this is reminiscent of her maternal grandfather (Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I) who would run when beckoned by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). 

Huzur said he was her nephew. When he was made Nazir e Ala of Pakistan and she came for a visit from USA Huzur noted clear deference in her deportment towards Huzur, such was her regard for office-holders of the Community. Huzur said this aspect about her unfolded to him at that time. After Huzur’s Khilafat this connection further developed. Huzur said when he thinks about it there was no difference whatsoever in the respect and regard she accorded to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III and that she accorded Huzur. Her regard was so heightened that at times Huzur would be embarrassed. Huzur said when he went to USA [last year] his residence was at the mission house due to Community matters. She had wanted Huzur to stay at her place. When Huzur went to visit her she was overjoyed. Huzur said it is due to the deep connection she had that her family also has a very close connection with Khilafat. Huzur said she had read the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) nine times. Huzur said during her illness he had the chance to speak with her a few times. Zahir Ahmad has told Huzur that once he tried that she would eat her meal before telephoning Huzur; which she did not. After the phone call it was said to her that now that she had spoken with Huzur she may eat her meal. After this he got busy somewhere. Shortly afterwards he noticed the food was eaten. Huzur said he thinks she may have misheard and assumed that Huzur had asked her to eat her meal and that is why she ate it despite, due to ill health, not wanting to eat. Huzur said such was the level of her obedience.

Huzur said during her illness she called her nephew/son, daughter-in-law and the children and counselled them for three hours and then thanked them for serving her although what they did for her was nothing compared to the way she had served them. May God enable her family to continue with the piety of the Tarbiyyat of Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahamd and Sahibzadi Amatul Qayyum and may they be the recipients of their prayers and stay firm on their humility.

Huzur said she was very close to her father. On her marriage he wrote to Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar sahib that he had cared for his daughter like one cares for a blister on one’s palm…and now he entrusted her to him. If she was pained in any way he would not be able to bear it. This is the model that the families who have conflicts should observe. When they bring someone else’s beloved daughter into their family, they should be most careful about her feelings, mindful that she is someone’s daughter.

Sahibzadi Amatul Qayyum once dreamt [in childhood] that a person said to her that he has come to get her mother. She pleads with him weeping not to take her. The person then says he would take her father. She again pleads with him not to take him. She is then given an option to either let her mother or father go. Upon insistence that under no circumstances could she keep both, she agreed to let her mother go. As a result of this dream she became very clingy with her mother. Her mother passed away when she was ten years old. Huzur related that earlier Hadhrat Amaan Jaan would say to her that she was always hugging her mother why did she not hug her father. Once she responded to this by saying: I will cling [to my father] and will do so all my life. Hadhrat Amaan Jaan would relate this incident with tearful eyes.

Huzur read a couple of Urdu poetic verses that Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote on the occasion of his daughter’s marriage. They broadly translate as:

May His love never diminish

His connection never breaks;

No matter who else breaks off

His devotion is never abandoned.

Huzur said someone has written to him from USA that twenty five years ago they dreamt hearing a voice that said ‘Bibi Amatul Qayyum is a waliullah’ (friend of God, saint). Huzur said she indeed had a deep relationship with God and was very pious. This was only because she always put the teachings of her great father in practice.  May God elevate her status. Huzur said he would lead her funeral Prayer in absentia after Jummah Prayer. In addition, he would also lead funeral Prayers for the following:

Major Afzal Ahmad, who was martyred on 19 June in an operation against the Taliban in Waziristan. His great-grandfather was a companion of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He was a member of the Rawalpindi Jama’at, and was a Moosi. He leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter. He was buried in Rabwah with full military honour.  Huzur said people claim that Ahmadis are enemies of the state, but wherever sacrifices are needed Ahmadis are at the forefront.

Ahmad Jamal, who was a nineteen year old Moosi.  On 19 June he had gone to a canal near Rabwah for a picnic when bandits fired at him and he lost his life. He belonged to Waqfe Nau scheme.

Yesterday Khalid Rasheed sahib and Zafar Iqbal sahib were martyred in Quetta. No details have been received yet. Their lives were either taken because of Ahmadiyyat or due to the current Punjabi/Baluchi conflict.

May God elevate the status of all the deceased and may He forgive them.