Friday Sermon: Friends of Allah

November 20th, 2009

Huzur recited verse 42 of Surah Al Ankubut, the translation of which is as follows:

‘The case of those who take helpers beside Allah is like unto the case of the spider, who makes for herself a house; and surely the frailest of all houses is the house of the spider, if they but knew!’ (29:42)

Huzur said as it is clear from the verse, it speaks of those unfortunate people who, having left the threshold and friendship of God search for other supports. They see transitory benefit and overlook permanent benefit. Worldly ranks and resources makes them abandon pleasure of God. Rather than become a friend of God they makes friends others than God. Rather than come into the refuge of God’s strong defence they deem the spider’s web as their defence. The verses preceding the above verse cite the Korah and people of Ad, Thamud, and Lot and how they forgot God and worldliness became their objective. Indeed, the wealth or high mansions of any nation were of no avail when God’s decree came to pass. The Holy Qur’an mentions in many places how earlier people were destroyed because rather than take refuge with God they sought temporary refuges. Through this we are alerted than believing is not sufficient, one has to seek Divine friendship and has to honour the due of friendship with God.

In the past Korah’s wealth did not save anyone who was connected to him, similarly the riches of anyone who goes against the will of God cannot save them from God’s chastisement. Korah’s wealth did not satiate anyone’s hunger and the Pharaoh too could not save anyone, no one could help for the refuges they had sought had no more significance than a spider’s web. Today the world yearns for the wealth of the wealthy or ingratiates to the wealthy. Under-developed governments grovel to the developed governments for aid and assume that their permanence lies in humbling themselves to the powerful nations. Self-seeking leaders put the interest of nations at risk. This has become apparent by the exposure of the internal affairs of some countries. Leaders of Muslim nations have most unnecessarily pawned their countries for the reason that their belief in God was not complete.

None can avert God’s decree. The stories of the Pharaoh, Korah etc. are not mentioned in the Holy Qur’an to simply provide a lesson of history for us, rather they are there for the believers to take note of their own spiritual condition and progress in faith. God states about Korah, ‘Then We caused the earth to swallow him up and his dwelling; and he had no party to help him against Allah, nor was he of those who can defend themselves. (28:82). Huzur explained that when people look for support through the wealth of others they forget God. The economic crisis of last year gave the entire world a slight jolt. It is termed as the credit crunch and despite statements issued about signs of stability the world has not come out of it. The effects are still manifesting themselves and unemployment is still widespread and people are losing jobs every day and there is fear in capital investment.

Similarly, people tend to go after the support of worldly power. The Holy Qur’an gives the example of Pharaoh with reference to the ultimate vainness of worldly power. When his end came, let alone the preservation of his kingdom, his boast of divinity could not save him. There was a point in his life when Pharaoh’s conceit made him say to his chief minister, ‘…and build me a tower, that I may have a glimpse of the God of Moses, though I believe him to be one of the liars.’ (28:39). However, when his end came, this is what God made him utter, ‘…till, when the calamity of drowning overtook him, he said, ‘I believe that there is no God but He in Whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those who submit to Him.’ (10:91). So, from the point where he arrogantly suggested to climb up a tower to look for the God of Moses he came to the point where he was drowning and uttered that he believed in the God of the Israelites. Huzur said it is significant that he did not call God, God of Moses at the time of his end. Moses (on whom be peace) was brought up in his house and was therefore considered noble, calling God, God of Moses would not have had the same connotation. God made him say ‘God of the children of Israel’, people for whom he had nothing but contempt in order to expound his disgrace and utter helplessness at that point.

Today, the status of worldly supports is the same in God’s sight. However, people still do not comprehend. Let alone royalty, if someone gets to have a connection with a member of parliament, they start looking down on others. Huzur said this is very common in the countries which are dubbed as ‘developing’ countries. Huzur added that although no development has taken place there but this is how they are referred to. This phenomenon has exceeded all limits in Pakistan. The transgressors do not realise that the real kingdom is that of God and when His decree comes into action, great big Pharaoh-like people have to face it. True fear of God is that which stays even when one is in power otherwise it is all verbosity. Then there are those who only take God’s name in a ritualistic sense. These are the people who live in spiders’ web. Their faith is in their wealth, their connections, their faction and their gang. They do not realise that bigger powers will be most fickle their interests are met and the only Being that is sincere is the Being of God alone.

God has enjoined the Muslims repeatedly to adopt taqwa and make God their shield and to ever be mindful that His Being alone is eternal. Of course it is important to plan and make arrangements, to benefit from one’s connections. It is vital for the permanence of society to keep social contacts, to seek help, to give help all in accordance to the rules of God. But a true believer must never imagine that the apparent planning and arrangements are everything. On the contrary if God’s support is not there, the apparent arrangement cannot help even an iota. God has taught us a comprehensive prayer in the very beginning of the Holy Qur’an, ‘ Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help’ (1:5) signifying that He alone can enable us to worship Him and He alone can fulfil our needs. Such is the significance of this prayer that it is obligatory to repeat it several times in the daily Salat. Huzur said in time of need we should turn to Go in the first instance then make arrangements.

Spirituality and taqwa are very important for believers. By citing the example of the spider’s web, God has explained that verbal professing of faith is not enough. This does not bring about man’s salvation. Rather, salvation comes with God’s grace and by putting His teaching in practice. It is in generating that spirit for which God sent religion. The fundamental lesson of religion is to make a connection with God. With this being the objective, it is the task of an honest person to search for God and put His commandments in practice. This is the reason for which Prophets of God come and this indeed was the objective of the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He said he was sent so that he may attract lost people to God with forbearance, courtesy and gentleness and to show people the way through the spiritual light that was given to him. He wrote: ‘I have been sent to strengthen the faith and to prove the existence of God Almighty to the people, for their faith has become weak, and they take life after death no more seriously than a fable. The conduct of every person proclaims that he has not the faith and trust in God and in the hereafter as he has in the world and its ranks and its resources. Tongues profess a lot but the hearts are suffused with the love of the world…I have been sent so that truth and faith may be revived and righteousness may inspire the hearts.’ (Essence of Islam, vol. IV, p.110)

Huzur said despite the fact the teaching of the Holy Qur’an is there, hearts are devoid of its influence. This is why when the world forgets God He send His chosen, commissioned people to once again establish His kingdom on earth. It is apparent from today’s state of affairs that the world has forgotten God. Let alone non-Muslims, even the Muslims have become very materialistic. The advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took place so that he could implement the teaching of the Holy Qur’an which was established 1,500 years ago by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). This is the teaching that brought about a living relationship between man and God and which, in addition to ways of worship, also instructed in social obligations that were to be carried out to seek the pleasure of God. This environment was created by the holy power of the Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and it was purely to seek the pleasure of God. In this age, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has come to establish the same therefore, we Ahmadis need to self-examine and see if we are playing any role in this. Do we wish to, aspire to make God our Wali? Or do we consider the rank and resources of this world our friend?

Say, ‘Shall I take any protector other than Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth, Who feeds and is not fed?’ Say, ‘I have been commanded to be the first of those who submit.’ And be thou not of those who associate partners with God’. (6:15)

‘… O Maker of the heavens and the earth, Thou art my Protector in this world and the Hereafter. Let death come to me in a state of submission to Thy will and join me to the righteous.’ (12:102)