Friday Sermon: Jalsa Salana Spain

April 2nd, 2010

Today Hudhur delivered his Friday Sermon from Basharat Mosque, Pedro Abad, Spain. Hudhur said that with the grace of God the Jalsa Salana of Spain commences with Hudhur’s Sermon and explained that today the institution of Jalsa Salana is firmly established in each country of the world where the Community is based. The Jalsa Salana is a sign of distinction and people of the Community take great care and attention in organising it. This is because this convention is certainly not like other worldly gatherings where people come to amuse themselves. Rather, for the past one hundred and twenty years it has been a successive source of realisation for Ahmadis that to gather for two to three days each year is in compliance of the desire of the Imam of the age, who wished for his followers to assemble and listen to matters relating to God and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), bring about pure change in themselves and gain nearness to God.

Hudhur said Ahmadis take time off work to attend this Jalsa because the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoined not to consider this Jalsa like worldly gatherings. He said this Jalsa was based on Divine support. Hudhur explained that the Jalsa Salana is not simply a manifestation of the fervent and ardent desire of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for his followers to recognise the Creator and absorb His blessings, rather it is based on God’s special and true support. Indeed, whatever a Prophet of God says is based on truth and brings blessings for people, however, following that which is purely from God carries tremendous blessings. When God’s support comes man’s humble effort attracts several hundred-fold blessings. This comes to pass on individual as well as communal level.

Hudhur said how fortunate are those among us who attend the Jalsa Salana purely in obedience to the call of the Imam of the age and in order to bring about pure change and to be part of the glorious destiny that God has decreed for the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), and take advantage of the spiritual sustenance that carries God’s special support. Hudhur prayed that may this always be the objective of every person who ever attends Jalsa Salana because this is the very objective which, when kept in view would make the attendance of Jalsa Salana advantageous. We should constantly self-reflect and self-examine, do Istaghfar profusely and recite Durud abundantly so that we bring about a revolutionary change in ourselves that would help us spread the teaching of Islam to the world and also absorb God’s blessings. Otherwise, Hudhur said it is pointless to take time off work if the spiritual ambience of the Jalsa is not availed. If everyone understood this aspect, not only would we benefit ourselves we would also be attracting other people to Islam. Hudhur said the revolutionary change that is to come about through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) will not materialise with force or political might, rather it will come about by bringing pure changes in ourselves and with prayers and this revolutionary change will be indeed eternal. It will not fall victim to any conspiracy by anyone that seeks to drive out Muslims from anywhere. On the contrary attempts will be made to follow Islamic teaching.

Addressing the Jalsa congregation, Hudhur said the Ahmadis in Spain number in a few hundred, most of whom are of Pakistani origin. They should be mindful that they have a huge responsibility on them. Progress of Ahmadiyyat will be reflective of as much as we will present practical examples of Islamic teachings and will be prayerful. There was a time when a lone Ahmadi person came to Spain on the call of the Khalifa of the time. It was a time when the name of Islam could only be taken covertly in this country. This person earned his livelihood and furthered his Jama’at work by selling perfume. He spread the word with a passion. His name was Karam Illahi sahib who was our first missionary in Spain. Eventually the period of religious restrictions came to an end in Spain and gradually people of our Community came and settled here and our missionaries started to come as well and a beautiful mosque was built. Hudhur said on reflection those who have emigrated here would agree that although Spain is less developed than some other European countries their financial situation has greatly improved by coming here and their life is tranquil. Certainly, the moral depravity in the Western countries is a cause for concern but the freedom of religion afforded here brings about peace. Although some countries in Europe are now edging towards reverse tendency, some putting restriction on minarets and others on hijab, but generally speaking there is freedom of religion. No government here penalizes calling of Adhan or professing the Kalima. We should be grateful for this freedom, peace and financial improvement and be of those who absorb God’s blessings.

Hudhur said this worldly progress should not take us away from God. We should never imagine that our improved financial situation is due to some personal quality or such like. Rather, this is a manifestation by God that those whom the world wanted to hand a begging bowl have been provided by Him. Hudhur said it should be remembered that God who has the power to bestow, is also displeased at unpleasant deeds and God’s displeasure is such that no man can contend with it. If worldly comfort is taking us away from our faith then it is a serious cause for concern. Hudhur said Spain has been waiting for the past 800 years for a revolutionary change.

Hudhur said in his last Friday Sermon he had related a Hadith and explained that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that he was not concerned about any possible poverty of his ummah or was desirous of material wealth for them. His main concern was the wealth that could possibly take them away from faith and cause their destruction like earlier people. Hudhur said today the Arab world has the wealth of oil but they are distant from faith although they call themselves the standard bearers of Islam. Their practice however is to the contrary. All this also has an effect on those who think Islam can only be learnt from the Arabs, in particular Saudi Arabia. Hudhur related about a Nigerian Muslim who went to Hajj but did not give up alcohol on his return. His Ahmadi friend advised him that as he had been to Hajj he should give it up. The Nigerian Muslim replied that he had seen alcohol consumption in Saudi Arabia, indeed even in Makkah. Hudhur said this is a verification of the concern of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), which in a way was also a prophecy. Alcohol is also known as ummul khabais (mother of all ills) and when the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) declared its prohibition, it flowed like water in the streets of Medina because the Companions broke their earthenware alcohol containers as soon as they heard of the prohibition. Whereas today, an African Muslim goes to Hajj and brings back verfication to consume alcohol, what greater destruction could there be? Hudhur said sins like gambling and alcohol consumption are known as ismul kabeer (great sin). Hudhur explained ismul kabeer is a sin that repeatedly incites one to commit sin. He said alcohol and gambling is causing destruction in the Muslim world. These sins take people away from God and once man goes away from God it leads to destruction.

Hudhur said alcohol is consumed like water in the Western countries. It is available in every shop, every restaurant and every petrol station and gambling machines can also be found everywhere. All this is considered a sign of progress. Ahmadis have to go about such an environment with the utmost care, protecting themselves and protecting their children, in particular children who have stepped into adolescence. One can get embroiled in gambling without realising and end up in its quagmire. Hudhur said sadly, the odd Ahmadi is also involved in this vice but there are many among the non-Ahmadis who do not consider anything wrong with gambling and some keep alcohol in their homes, they drink it and they offer it to guests. Hudhur said his directive to Ahmadis is not to work at a place that deals with alcohol, because it leads to destruction. If non-Muslims and some Muslims have thriving businesses because they sell alcohol, good luck to them, we are only interested in pure and wholesome earnings. These people are blinded regarding faith. A true Muslim’s point of view should be to give precedence to faith over worldly matters. Hudhur said apart from Islam all other religions are spiritually dead. For them these matters are immaterial. Today Islam is the only religion that offers eternal salvation. It is the God of Islam that promises to send His commissioned people at a time of decline of Islam and indeed does send them. It was the God of Islam who asked the Messiah to bring back faith from Pleiades and after he passed away, God of Islam established the system of Khilafat which is eternal and which was established to bring about unity among the believers.

The faith of the Muslims is a living faith, one that will stay established for always and God has promised to protect and safeguard it and has promised its triumph. If a Muslims abandons faith he destroys his worldly life and that of the Hereafter.

Hudhur said we Ahmadis claim that we spend our lives according to the pledge of bai’at that we have taken with the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Our objective is not this world, rather it is our faith, indeed it should be, otherwise there is no point in taking bai’at. Ahmadiyyat will InshaAllah triumph but as the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said one who forgets the teaching of Islam will see destruction. He never expressed concern for the faith of Islam, he was certain of the Divine promise that the ultimate triumph will be of Islam. The warning that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave was to the followers of Islam, the ummah, asking them to be mindful not to let comfort of this world make them get distant from faith for it ultimately leads to destruction. Hudhur explained that the Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave faith precedence over worldly matters even when they earned great wealth. The Companions also saw times of adversity and when some of them passed away they left great wealth. They had spent their wealth most generously in the cause of Islam and honoured their dues to faith extremely well.

Hudhur said to the Ahmadis in Spain that they live in a country where Muslims had once ruled and today hundreds of buildings still stand that carry the words of the Kalima on them. This also is the country where on every step there is a cautionary testimony of the Muslims being negligent of their religion. Hudhur said there was a time when Christian kings and rulers, in spite of their malice and rancour, looked up to Muslim kings and rulers. They were impressed by the magnificent lifestyle of the Muslim kings. However, internal strife of the Muslims cost them dearly and when their wealth became their be all and end all and they sought refuge with the Christian kings, they met their decline and were ultimately disgraced.

However, it is God’s promise that the ultimate triumph will be of Islam and for this God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to this world. The task of revival of faith is entrusted to his followers and if after coming to these countries we get involved in materialism it would be contrary to our pledge of bai’at. God’s mercy is without doubt extensive but we should be mindful that we can never deceive God. If He so wills He can question us on every single pledge of bai’at. Are we among those who honour the pledge made with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace)? The summary of the conditions of the bai’at is to honour the dues of God and honour the dues of mankind and each Ahmadi should be ever mindful of them, then alone will we be able to carry out our spiritual task properly. At times personal engagements do not allow us to pay determined attention that is due to faith, thus is human nature and that is why it is important to constantly remind ourselves of our pledge of bai’at.

Hudhur said in Spain there is a reminder of the past at every step. The name of every major road is an indication that this place was once the seat of Muslim splendour. However, wealth, avarice and politics made their rule a thing of the past. Today it is the task of the Ahmadis to re-establish the glory of Islam by becoming a practical example of the teaching of Islam. For this they have to understand the objective of creation as God states in the Holy Qur’an (51:57).

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says that man is born with a nature that is inclined to God. Those who abandon this natural trait and make their life a base existence like that of animals drive themselves away from God. Once we believe that our existence is chiefly to worship God we should change every aspect of our life. Our aim should be ultimately to seek God’s pleasure. Hudhur said it was for the training of this objective that Ahmadis had gathered at the Jalsa in Spain. They should pay particular attention to worship and prayers during the days of Jalsa and try and bring about a revolutionary change in themselves and when they return home they should feel that a distinct change has come in them. Hudhur asked them to pray that the situation does not get to a point where they have to migrate to another country. If they have to go anywhere, may it be back to their country of origin where they can practice their faith and spread it as well. Addressing a delegation from Morocco, Hudhur said that we pay the dues of our country if we demonstrate models which will attract people of our faith.

Next Hudhur gave the sad news of tragic martyrdom of three people of a family in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Ashraf Pervaiz sahib, aged 60, his brother Masood Javed sahib, aged 57 and his 24 year old son Asif Masood were martyred by unknown assailants last night. Hudhur gave some details of the martyrs and called for Pakistani Ahmadis, specifically those who are well known in their areas to take care in their travel times. Hudhur prayed for an elevated status for the three martyrs and for steadfastness for their families as he announced that he would lead their funeral Prayer in absentia.