Friday Sermon: Divine attribute Al Nur (The Light)

December 25th, 2009

Huzur recited verse 23 of Surah Al Zumar at the beginning and gave a discourse on God’s Nur his Friday Sermon today. The translation of the verse is: ‘Is he then whose bosom Allah has opened for the acceptance of Islam, so that he possesses a light from his Lord, like him who is groping in the darkness of disbelief ? Woe, then, to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! They are in manifest error.’ (39:23)

Huzur said without doubt it is for God to lead to guidance and to grant guidance. As it is stated in the Qur’an: ‘Surely thou wilt not be able to guide all whom thou lovest; but Allah guides whomsoever He pleases; and He knows best those who would accept guidance.’ (28:57).

It was the wish of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that the world should accept the nur (light) that he had brought, the guidance that he had introduced. So the world, having taken a measure of this nur, could illuminate their hearts and find nearness to God. This was because of the reason that he knew that rejection of this nur could bring about Divine chastisement and his heart was replete with compassion for humanity. He could not bear any one person departing from this world without receiving this guidance. So, he would awaken at night to worship and supplicate God with heartfelt compassion. It is in view of his profound concern for people that the following verse was revealed: ‘Haply thou wilt grieve thyself to death because they believe not.’ (26:4). God thus declared that it is for Him alone to grant guidance and He alone knows best who endeavours to be guided and who wishes to be guided. It is that person who is given guidance and receives a measure of the nur that was given to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Such hearts continue to be illuminated with nur and are filled with love and remembrance of God and these are the people who are the recipients of God’s pleasure.

The beautiful teaching of Islam is filled in the hearts of such believers and they seek out higher and higher standards of love of God and His Prophet. This leads them onto never-ending paths and increases their knowledge and spirituality. Wherever the light of these people fall, the pious-natured absorb it. God states in the Qur’an: ‘So, whomsoever Allah wishes to guide, He expands his bosom for the acceptance of Islam; and as to him whom He wishes to let go astray, He makes his bosom narrow and close, as though he were mounting up into the skies. Thus does Allah inflict punishment on those who do not believe.’ (6:126). It is the way of God that He keeps the granting of guidance in His hands. The light of sun brings daylight, but one who keeps his doors and windows shut deprives himself of it. In the spiritual world, the light only reaches those who keep the windows and doors of their hearts open. It is the act of a person that absorbs God’s grace and as a result he/she gains guidance. God is not unfair. He takes two steps towards a person who takes one step towards Him and runs to a person who walks towards Him. Therefore the significance of ‘So, whomsoever Allah wishes to guide…’ is that He has knowledge of who is happily and eagerly endeavouring to attain His pleasure and in the process is also keen to accept all His commandments. God continues to open up the heart of such a person and he/she gains insight and perception of true Islam. His/her worship, fasting, Hajj and good morals are for the sake of God and not for the world.

Some unfortunate people forget God’s commandments and consider religion unnecessary. Others consider their own religion and traditions as the ultimate word and do not accept Islam. Within their own sphere they may be considered of standing but in God’s sight they are not firm on faith because after the advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the light of the last Shariah according to God, it is: ‘Surely, the true religion with Allah is Islam…’(3:20). It teaches perfect obedience and ascertains ways to honour the dues of God and dues of mankind. There is no other religion that may show us the ways of spiritual development. As for ‘…and as to him whom He wishes to let go astray, He makes his bosom narrow and close…’, it is not God’s wish to close anyone’s heart. When God sent Adam He enjoined him that if he chose piety he would find nur but if he would be inclined towards Satan he would be the object of chastisement. Therefore it is one’s practices that are the cause of closing of hearts. Those who consider Divine commandments a burden close God’s blessings on themselves. Their hearts contract further in the manner of one climbing a great height. Otherwise God is so Kind that every time there is disorder and corruption on earth He sends His messengers to put it right. These Prophets of God take it upon themselves to accomplish this task against tremendous enmity. It was over such a deep concern of one who was the benefactor of all humanity (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that God declared, ‘Haply thou wilt grieve thyself to death because they believe not.’

Those who knowingly fall in sin and do not wish to leave the wrong path are not shown the way to good by God. This is the reason of the admonishments in the Qur’an. They are not simply incidents of times gone by, as if after the advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) no one could go astray and if one is labelled a Muslim, spiritual development would be natural for him/her. In fact the Qur’an has many commandments expounding the significance of worship, Istaghfar and good works after accepting Islam. It states that if true obedience is not forthcoming one can get Divine chastisement. However, as Islam is the final Shariah, is the final tower of light from which the world is going to seek light till the very end, God would continue to send people on the basis of complete and absolute obedience and love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who would guide to the right path and among the latter-ones the Khatamul Khulafa (the seal of all Khalifas) would be sent who would be granted the status of prophethood who would accomplish the task for which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) came to this world; to spread the Light of God everywhere. God foretold this and it was verified in Hadith. It was also the fervent wish of the true and ardent devotee of the Prophet to remove shirk (associating partners with God) from this world. It was the ruinous state of Muslims during which the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took place. Thousand so Muslims had gone to Christianity. The state of affairs today is also such that, they say they are guided, but are killing each other. Is killing of innocents, dishonesty, bribery and usurping the rights of the masses the teaching of Islam? This age was in need of a messenger of God who was sent in accordance to Divine promise and whose fervent wish was to revive the teaching of Islam and to illuminate hearts with the nur God gave him. He carried out his mission with passionate zeal and pain, seeing which God revealed to him, ‘Will you destroy yourself out of grief that they do not believe?’ (Tadhkirah, p. 794). The subject of verse 6:126 is a cause for concern for the Muslims in general and also for the Ahmadis that if they claim to be Muslim, then it should be remembered that Islam is the name of complete submission.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that most people are not drawn to true purity of heart and true love of God and true compassion for His creation, forbearance, mercy, justice, humility and all other pure morals and taqwa, purity and honesty which is an essence of religion. He said the real objective of religion is to recognise the True God and to arrive at that station in His love which burns the love of all save His. Huzur said this station is attained by obtaining the nur that God sent down and this is the nur of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Holy Qur’an.

Explaining verse 39:23 Huzur said hearts are hardened because they are devoid of remembrance of God. God states that His remembrance is a significant and a huge condition to attain His nearness. His remembrance is multi-faceted, the Holy Qur'an is also one way, as it states, Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’ (15:10). Huzur said this verse denotes the advent of the Promised Messiah and in his own words, it speaks of a time when a body of people will try to obliterate His remembrance. This is when God will safeguard it [the Qur’an] through one of His messengers. Huzur said it is common knowledge that at the time of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) the onslaught of Christianity was huge. In India thousands had become Christians. At that time God established the Messiah for the defence of Islam having filled him with the nur of the true teaching of Islam.

Today furore against Islam is raised among different people. Recently a political party created uproar in Switzerland and had a referendum passed against the construction of minarets. Although reports tell that the locals did not fully participate in it but in any case a referendum was passed. The government as well as some politicians are embarrassed about it and a debate has now started as to whether the referendum should have taken place at all. No matter how much the opponents of our Community claim that we have nothing to do with Islam, they cannot help acknowledge that it was the person of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who defended Islam in this age and saved the Muslims from Christianity. Many religious scholars of the time openly admitted this but later, due to their personal interests, they started opposing the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). However, some opponents have been forced to admit even today that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (on whom be peace) contended with Christianity and had it retreat. They say the Muslim scholars of the time did not have the knowledge of the Qur’an and the Bible that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani did. Dr. Israr ul Haq has openly admitted this on TV. Whether they accept it or not that it was the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) knowledge of the Qur’an and Divine support that made him perform this great work, the truth is that God established him to safeguard the Holy Qur’an and forced the enemy to retreat. This was by virtue of the measure of nur he took from the nur of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and of the Holy Qur’an and his knowledge of the Qur’an is peerless in this age.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said the Holy Qur’an has been called an exhortation because it is a reminder of the inner law of man. The Qur’an did not bring a new teaching, rather it reminds of that inner law which is inherent in man in the shape of different powers. There is forbearance, sacrifice, courage, compulsion, severity, contentment etc. In short the nature that is inherent [in man] has been reminded by Qur’an.

Huzur said it is most important to read the Holy Qur’an so that a pious nature is further illumined by its light. If practice on the teachings of the Qur’an is lacking then mere knowledge of it can be of no benefit. There are many great big orators and commentators of the Holy Qur’an among people outside our Community but as long as they are not reflecting on it in the ways taught by the Imam of the age, theirs is but a superficial shell. The practical state of the Holy Qur’an is when dues of God and dues of mankind are both honoured.

Reading the commandments of the Holy Qur’an and to mentally and verbally remember them, demands that all the commandments are also put in practice. As it is stated in the Qur’an, ‘…observe Prayer for my remembrance.’ (20:15). One of the biggest commandments of the Qur’an is observance of Salat. Indeed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said there is no greater worship than Salat. It removes one’s suffering and grief and solves difficulties. God states, ‘…Aye! it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort;’ (13:29).

Huzur said people often write him to ask and he has replied many times and now he would say it again that Salat is the greatest worship.

It is a sign of those whose breasts are open to Islam that they have nur. They remember God, worship Him and abide by His commandments. An absence of this gradually hardens hearts. This is also the reason for the hardened hearts of those who do not accept Islam. It is incumbent upon a believer to fulfil worship of God while remembering Him in the heart. May our Salat be for the pleasure of God, may we be so regular in our observance of Salat that the world is filled with remembrance of God. May God save us and our generations from going astray and may we be the recipients of the true Nur.

Next Huzur announced that tomorrow InshaAllah the Qadian Jalsa begins. Huzur said prayers should be made that God enables the attendees of the Jalsa to observe Salat and remember God during the proceedings of the Jalsa and also while they are out and about. They should fill the town of the Promised Messiah with prayers to such an extent that God’s blessings shower down. May the atmosphere of Qadian be filled with Hamd (praise of God) and Durud (invocation of blessings and salutations on the Prophet) making every attendee of the Jalsa partake a measure of real nur. Ahmadis around the world should pray that with the grace of God, the Jalsa is blessed in every way and may God keep every attendee in His protection and refuge and safe from evil.