Huzoor delivered today’s sermon on the topic of financial sacrifice in context of the new year of Waqf-e-Jadid. Huzoor presented the duties of a Believer in terms of financial sacrifice in view of Quranic teachings. Huzoor first recited the following verse:
Who is it that will lend Allah a goodly loan that He may multiply it for him manifold? And Allah receives and enlarges, and to Him shall you be made to return. [2:246]
Huzoor said that there has never been a movement, whether worldly or spiritual, which has survived without financial contribution. A spiritual movement requires funds to carry out its missions and fulfill the obligations to humanity at large (huqooq-ul-Ibaad).
The Promised Messiahas said that the collection of chanda (financial contribution) is not a system that was first introduced by this Jamaat, in fact, financial needs arose at the time of Prophets of God, who would announce new schemes to collect funds as deemed necessary. The Prophet of God (saw) said that one should contribute to such schemes according to his/her own circumstances. A single person cannot do much. Even large sultanates (countries) run their administrations on monetary contributions, but their taxes are enforced by law whereas religious organizations and movements collect voluntarily, and rely on the intention and cooperation of the contributor. Financial sacrifice is a source of progress in one’s faith and can only result due to the love and loyalty to God.
Huzoor then elaborated that in the Jamaat, there are some chandas (financial contributions) which are mandatory (zakat, chanda aam, chanda jalsa salana, chanda wasiyyat) and others are voluntary. Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam and the Holy Prophetsa made special arrangements to collect contributions to this system. After his demise, when one group of Muslims refused to pay Zakat, Hadhrat Abu Bakrra as the Caliph, took all necessary measures to collect it. Zakat was deemed obligatory on all those who are eligible. Besides the collection of Zakat, if additional funds were required for a certain project, the Holy Prophet (saw) would start a special scheme to collect towards that project.
The Promised Messiahas inaugurated the scheme of Al-Wasiyyat in 1905, and whosoever becomes an initiate of this scheme may set their level of contribution from anywhere between 1/10th to 1/3rd of their income and assets. The initiate pledges to pay this to the last breath of his life and after his death, should make arrangements for the proper imbursement of his assets. Every Moosi is expected to be honest about his/her income and assets because this is a pledge he/she makes with Allah Almighty, hence their standard of Taqwa should be elevated, their commitment to performing good deeds should be high, and their level of worship and moral values should be outstanding. They should be making every effort in achieving the lofty station of a true believer. May Allah enable every Moosi to meet these standards, Ameen.
Chanda Aam was inaugurated at the rate of 1/16th of one’s income by Hadhrat Khalifatul-Massih II although it was initially launched by the Promised Messiahas himself, who said that it should be paid at a monthly rate even if the contribution is as low as 1paisa. Then gradually, the contribution was increased as the requirements grew. The Promised Messiah (as) has even said that if you eat 4 pieces of bread, then you should sacrifice one piece in the way of God if it is required, and that amounts to a rate of 25% of sacrifice. Huzoor stated that there should be no misunderstanding regarding chanda aam (regular financial contribution): it is not a contribution at a person’s own will, but it must be paid at the set rate of 1/16th of one’s income.
Huzoor explained that whenever there has been a need in the Jamaat for funds, Khulafa have launched new schemes in order to fulfill those needs. Tahrik-e-Jadid was launched by Hadhrat Khalifatul-Massih II at a time when the enemy was proclaiming to annihilate the very foundations of the Jamaat, and this scheme was launched to propagate Islam Ahmadiyyat outside the sub-continent. Waqf-e-Jadid was launched after the creation of Pakistan to spread Islam Ahmadiyyat in the remote areas of Pakistan, and this scheme especially helped spread the word in the province of Sindh. At the time of its launch, Hadhrat Khalifatul-Massih II not only required funds, but also wanted those men who had a sound religious knowledge to volunteer their time for the cause of propagation. As years passed, and the influence of this scheme spread, the number of people who volunteered their time increased, and then a proper training was organized for them, and now there is an institute located in Rabwah by the name of Madrassa-tul-Hifz which is responsible for training these preachers by certifying them with a three year course. With the influx of Waqfeen-e-nau, the school is expanding at a fast rate. Initially, this scheme was launched to fulfill the propagation needs of remote areas in Pakistan alone, but gradually, this was expanded to Africa and India, and then after migrating to UK, Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih IV made this scheme worldwide. The Jamaat participation and contribution in this scheme has been increasing every year by the grace of God Almighty.
Expounding on the meaning of the Quranic verse Huzoor recited in the beginning of the sermon, he said that God Almighty has taught the true essence of financial sacrifice to a believer and the deep philosophy in giving in the way of God is actually to reap great rewards for oneself. A country taxes its citizens for worldly administrative decisions, but when it comes to religion, financial sacrifices are not the only contribution sought after; in fact, religion requires one to excel in all spiritual realms and make progress in every sphere of faith. When this combination of financial sacrifice along with the true effort of excelling in one’s spiritual state is offered in the way of Allah with the purest of intentions, then Allah supplements the reward of such a person manifold and returns it to that person. God does not need money or any other material thing. Sacrifice, be it monetary or other, is prescribed for the sake of a person’s own spiritual progress so that he may gain nearness to Allah Almighty. Huzoor also reminded the members who contribute to these schemes that they should not expect any type of gratitude from Nizaam-e-Jamaat and they should remember that by contributing in the way of Allah, they have entered an agreement with God Almighty Himself Who shall bestow His favors in this world and the next. Huzoor narrated a hadith where the Holy Prophetsa is reported to have said (after reciting Surah Al-Takathur) “The son of Adam says, `My money, my money!' Yet, what is your money except that which you eat and use up, wear and tear, and spend in charity and thus keep (in your record). Other than that, it will go away and will be left for the people (the inheritors).” Huzoor narrated another hadith where the Holy Prophet (saw) inquired regarding what remained of an animal slaughtered. When he was told that all the meat was distributed except one leg, he said that what was distributed actually remained i.e. only that which is given in the way of God is what shall reap any reward.
Huzoor reminded that a Momin does not discharge his duty solely by contributing monetarily in the way of God, but that he must always keep an eye on his deeds to gain the favors of Allah and keep a close tie with the Nizaam-e-Jamaat thinking that in this relation, the beneficiary is the individual himself. We as Muslims are blessed that God provides for us countless opportunities to gain His nearness and every act of piety is a goodly loan which shall be returned to him in immeasurable rewards. The Promised Messiah (as) has said that an unwise person takes the verse recited in a literal way thinking that God actually needs a loan. The wise man knows however that whatever he spends in the way of God will reap him abundant rewards from God, but that is not so. God’s grace encompasses every human being, even those who have no relationship with God at all. His attributes of “Rabbubiyyat” and “Rehmaniyyat” are such that all of creation benefits from Him, so why would those people who actually strive in His way be neglected by His Divine Grace? In fact, the capability of spending in His way is also granted to man by God, so one should forever remain in prostration before His Mighty Lord.
Huzoor informed that there has been a rise in Tabligh programs. Contributions from European and American countries play a pivotal role in organizing these programs, but these do not undermine the importance of contributions received from other countries of Africa and the sub-continent. Huzoor specifically mentioned Africa and India that they are making great strides in meeting their own expenses, more specifically in the past two years, where an increased awareness has led to higher participation in these schemes. Huzoor prayed for all contributors that may Allah increase their standards, Ameen.
Huzoor also updated on some activities that have taken place in Africa under the auspices of Waqf-e-Jadid, where new mosques are being built, new Jamaats are being established, new Imams are being trained, people are coming into the fold of Islam-Ahmadiyyat and a heightened awakening is taking place in the hearts and minds of people to make even more sacrifices, monetarily and in many other ways. Huzoor recounted many spiritually uplifting incidents that have taken place in Africa due to the efforts of the missionaries there.
Huzoor then announced the new year of Waqf-e-Jadid and revealed the total collections from last year as £3 531 000. The country-rankings are as follows:
Huzoor elaborated that although Britain secured 3rd position, he feels that in a way it merits the 2nd position, as large donations were made by a few God-fearing members in the USA at the last moment to raise the amount collected. Britain has focused on increasing the amount of membership contributing to the scheme, whereas USA is lacking in that.
The top-ranking countries in terms of financial contributions per capita are as follows:
3. Great Britain
The top-ranking African nations in terms of financial contributions are as follows:
4. Burkina Faso
Total number of participants worldwide are 573 000. Huzoor then listed the top-ranking local Jamaats in Pakistan, USA, Great Britain, Germany and Canada.
After presenting another extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas, Huzoor prayed that may Allah cause the wealth of all those who made these financial sacrifices to increase. May Allah enable every Ahmadi to increase in good deeds and gain in His nearness. May Allah enable us to forward the mission of the Promised Messiahas Ameen.
In the end, Huzoor gave the sad news and confirmed the martyrdom of another member of the community, Retired Professor Muhammad Yusuf (aged 70), who was killed on 5th January 2010 by two masked gunmen in Lahore, while he was tending his son’s grocery shop near his own home in Rachna Town. Two masked persons drove up to the shop on motorbikes. They immediately fired two shots at Professor Yusuf and thereafter fled the scene. Upon hearing the gunshots a son of Professor Yusuf came running to the grocery shop and found his father seriously wounded. The wounds were indeed fatal and Professor Yusuf died on route to the local hospital. Professor Yusuf was a greatly loved and well known personality of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat; he served the Jamaat in various capacities, had the honor twice of being an “aseer” and was a Moosi. He is survived by his widow, four sons and one daughter.