Hudhur recited the following verses of Surah Al Mursalat at the beginning of today’s Friday Sermon and gave a discourse on propagation of the message of Islam through modern resources in light of these verses.
‘By those which are sent off gently
Then gather speed and blow swiftly,
And by those who spread a thorough spreading,
And then they make clear distinctions,
And by those who deliver the Reminder,
Absolving themselves of responsibility or by way of warning,
Verily, that which you are promised must come to pass.
So when the stars are made to lose their light,
And when the heaven is rent asunder,
And when the mountains are blown away,
And when the Messengers are made to appear at the appointed time —‘
Hudhur explained that while these verses give the news of the glorious propagation of Islam in the times of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) through his Companions, they also foretell the coming of his true and ardent devotee. Through his advent, he was to revive and restore the glory of Islam. Today, these verses are a sign of his truthfulness and indicate towards the progress of his Community. Therein is a prophecy which has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled and will be fulfilled in future. This is the Word of the Master of the heavens and the earth Who is All-Powerful, Who, through His great power has fulfilled the revolutionary change destined for the time of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and shall continue to do so in future. What is needed is for us to endeavour to be part of this revolutionary change so that we may partake of the blessings that God has destined with it. For this we have to bring about revolutionary changes within ourselves.
Hudhur said the verse ‘By those which are sent off gently’ indicates to the signs that God has demonstrated in support of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is demonstrating and shall demonstrate in future. Angels are supporting the message, which the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) spread. This message was of piety, purity, high morals and taqwa (righteousness). At the time when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) made his claim, not only was his message not accepted, it was faced with severe opposition. However, God exhibited one after another sign and with the reasoning and arguments of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and the Tabligh of his followers, in spite of all the detractors, pious-natured people began accepting him. Within his life-time the number of his followers grew into hundreds of thousands.
When God sends His Prophets, initially, their message spreads slowly. Later on it gathers speed and momentum. In the beginning, resources are also limited but God increases these. There is increase in signs, just as it was in the life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He foretold the plague which started off on a very small scale but later took entire India in its hold. He predicted that some matters will be accomplished after him and they would be fulfilled in the era of the Second Manifestation, that is, Khilafat. We note today that God has provided resources and arrangements in accordance to the times to fulfil this promise. It is the way of God that some matters are brought to fruition in the lifetime of Prophets but others are fulfilled later. However, whatever promises are made to Prophets are most certainly accomplished. God states: ‘And if We take thee away, We shall surely exact retribution from them’ (43:42). Whatever God declares about detractors of Prophets definitely comes to pass, whether in the lifetime of the Prophet, or later. Similarly, some glad-tidings are fulfilled in his lifetime while others are realised later. When the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave the glad-tiding of the gold bracelets of the [Persian Emperor] Suraka, it signified the triumph of Islam in Persia/Iran. This was fulfilled in the era of Hadhrat Umer (may Allah be pleased with him).
Piety spreads gradually and its sphere extends steadily. Later, God’s decree creates swift and better conditions for its fulfilment. We should always be mindful that God’s power is not limited. If He wishes He can fulfil all promises and triumphs in the lifetime of the Prophet. However, it is His will that those who follow may also partake of some of the blessings and triumphs. Thus, the swift resources of this age draw our attention that we may utilise them and in following the Companions, become helpers of the Imam of the age and accomplish his mission. The current swift and proficient resources draw our attention to consider this swiftness as a blessing of God and utilise it to propagate His religion. The verse ‘And by those who spread a thorough spreading’ signifies spreading of that message for which the advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took place. It is the perfect religion which will last till the Day of Judgement and for its revival in the current age the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) advent took place. God has provided modern means of propagating this message. The Companions of the Holy Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them) did not have any modern means yet they honoured the dues of Tabligh. Today the means and resources are available, they were destined for the time of his true and ardent devotee, and the above verse is a prophecy of this. In another place in the Qur’an it is stated: ‘And when books are spread abroad.’ (81:11).
Hudhur explained that the age of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is an age to propagate books. He has left the treasure of his writings ‘Ruhani Khazain’. This collection of his writings was published in his lifetime and his companions played a tremendous role in propagating them. They undertook this task with a sense of sacrifice as in the era of early Islam when the Companions of the Prophet became God’s loved ones. The followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) too found nearness to God. Today, God has provided ways and means to propagate these books and to respond to our detractors, ways which are much swifter and proficient than ever. The Holy Qur’an and the books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and other literature is traversing new stages of broadcast via Television and the Internet. A few decades ago all this was unthinkable. God has provided these opportunities so that they are utilised in the defence of Islam and in its Tabligh. It is indeed His blessings to provide us with these modern inventions. We should try and make good, rather than idle, use of these inventions. If we become part of that group which is taking the message of the Muhammadan Messiah (on whom be peace) to the world we too can be counted among those who God has borne witness to.
Hudhur said he mentioned at a MTA event that today each worker of MTA, no matter where in the world he or she is working, they are working for taking the message of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to the ends of the earth. God will bring this to pass, He revealed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) ‘I shall carry thy message to the ends of the earth’ and for this purpose He provided these resources. This is the destiny and all the inventions bear witness to it. If we do our tasks with the view that by participating in Tabligh we may become those who gain Divine nearness, and continue to self-reflect over this, we will be truly honouring the dues. Then alone will such workers realise their standing and will be drawn to fulfil their obligation with a sense of responsibility. Mere technical help, camera work and similar duties will not be sufficient. Attention will be drawn to worship of God and to turn to Him for good results of every task, and keeping ‘And by those who spread a thorough spreading’ in view, effort will be made to follow in the footsteps of the Companions; that is, practical steps will be taken, along with worship of God, to spread the message. This is not restricted to MTA or a team of few who respond to questions on websites, each member of the Community should participate in this and follow the example of the Companions. If attention was not drawn to this so far, now is the time to do so. If each Ahmadi makes an effort to play a role, InshaAllah, the revolutionary change will come about soon.
Hudhur said Tabligh work and use of the resources is making the distinction that the verse ‘And then they make clear distinctions,’ cites. Any Ahmadi who participates in any form of Tabligh is part of this; be it through the Internet, through literature or workers of MTA, even those who may not be directly involved but are part of the system that is spreading the message of piety in the world. Today there also is propagation of amusements and idle matters in the world through these resources but the followers of the Muhammadan Messiah (peace be on him) are spreading God’s message around the world. Other TV channels also provide the service of spreading the message of Islam but their broadcast hours are limited and due to not accepting the Imam of the age they convey harmful innovations which, at times, can spoil the essence of the message. Hudhur gave an example where in one TV programme it was stated that Purdah is not essential for women, that the Quranic commandment is only to draw coverings over bosoms and there is no mention of covering of the head, although it is very clear. It was also said that the commandment was only for the wives of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), although the same verse also mentions the commandment to believing women. These people thus spoil the essence of the message. In this age the true teaching is that which is spreading through the Hakam (arbiter) and Adl (one who establishes justice) of the age. And it is this teaching that distinguishes between what is right and what is not and it is the Promised Messiah ‘s (on whom be peace) task to explain ‘And then they make clear distinctions,’. As followers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), we need to depart from the materialistic environment and be firm on that environment which he appointed for his followers. This distinction will be true when our practices will portray this. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) presented the beautiful picture of Islam which is the original picture presented by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). This is what the world and we need today.
Hudhur said with regards Tabligh, the leaflet distribution scheme here in the UK and elsewhere has been successful. It has had very good effect. It was thought in USA that the scheme may not be successful but when the project was started people happily accepted the leaflets saying it was first time they had heard such a message of Islam. Newspapers also covered this and many renowned columnists of national newspapers wrote on this. These newspapers have circulations of hundreds of thousands, thus our message reached a great number of people. Some people also rejected the leaflets but when it was explained to them that our message was of love and brotherhood, they took the leaflets. Thus is the distinction between our message and that of the others. We have been taught the ways and means of Tabligh by the Imam of the age. When the newspapers in USA covered the leaflets, our young men also gained confidence. Initially they had been somewhat hesitant, perhaps borne out of a little inferiority complex. This happens when there is lack of knowledge. Praise by the outsiders gained them in confidence. This is the beginning; it will open many new avenues. The next message should be thought out.
Hudhur said someone suggested to him that [Tabligh] text messages sent from India will be very effective. Hudhur said question arises which team would send these messages and to which countries. Even if telephone numbers are obtained from directories there are legal impediments which restrict sending unsolicited messages even though the intent here would be good. Still, this method cannot have the same affect as a face to face direct contact. Personal effort brings results in Tabligh. Text messaging may benefit advertisements but in Hudhur’s opinion Tabligh cannot be carried out this way. Hudhur said he also wished to mention that while in Pakistan and some other Muslim countries there are legal impediments, greater efforts should be made in places where there is freedom. Each year this introductory message should reach people in their hundreds of thousands and this should be followed up with another message the next year. The entire system will have to be fully involved in this. The leaflets scheme was also reported by newspapers in places other than USA. The message of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has reached people in their millions. Now, there is need to continue this scheme with greater vigour than before.
Among the tasks of Prophets, one is to warn. Sometimes it becomes necessary to warn the world. ‘And by those who deliver the Reminder,’ it is also something true followers of a Prophet must carry out. It is important to give one message, followed by another so that the world which is on the wrong path may be saved from falling into pit of fire. For this constant effort should be made. God has stated two parts of the message: ‘Absolving themselves of responsibility or by way of warning’. If they do not pay heed, they can receive chastisement.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explains the verses, ‘And by those who deliver the Reminder, Absolving themselves of responsibility or by way of warning’ stating that the truthfulness of a Prophet is recognised by some, but obstinacy and egotism prevents them from accepting him. Some of these people will be answerable to God and some will be enabled to repent. God spares the rod at times, but if no repentance is forthcoming, Quran often states in the vein of: ‘Verily, that which you are promised must come to pass.’ That is, if the warning is not paid heed to, it is a warning results of which will manifest in this world as well as there will be chastisement in the Hereafter. Therein are two messages: one is that of warning for the detractors and there is also promise of triumph to the Prophet and his community.
‘So when the stars are made to lose their light’ signifies this age when the so-called religious leaders will be devoid of knowledge. They will have no light and one who does not have light cannot guide. Hudhur said the religious leaders of our times appear to have one job and that is to use abusive language for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Since yesterday the so-called Khatm e Nabuwat conference has been going on in Rabwah attended by all big maulwis and according to reports received so far, Hudhur said, they are only uttering nonsense about our Community. The Arabic idiom fading of stars signifies that the religious leaders will be devoid of religion. Here, it signifies that by being devoid of religion they have become those who spread darkness and have thus led people astray. As a result of this when God sends someone who explains and warns and even he is disregarded, then God’s decree comes into action, natural disasters follow.
‘And when the heaven is rent asunder’ has scientific as well as spiritual connotations. New space is being discovered; new universes are being discovered as well as new planets. Also, the ozone layer is damaged and this has resulted in climate change. The verse also denotes the coming of the Messiah in the spiritual world. When the stars fade away and darkness falls, God sends light through His Prophets, who create their community. Manifestation of revelations and true dreams begin for the Prophet and some of his followers. God states that when this spiritual process starts the so-called religious leaders will not be able to create a hindrance for them. Let alone these so-called religious leaders, even big, powerful, egotistical people who assume themselves to be as strong as mountains, who will try to contend with Prophets of God will be smashed as in ‘And when the mountains are blown away’. Hudhur warned that let no one presume that he has deeply held support among the masses or has the backing of an Arab Kingdom or the support of a Western country. When someone will try to contend with God’s Prophet, neither will the support of the masses avail, nor any wealth or any assistance or any tribal backing. They may presume to be as strong as mountains, but all these people will be dispersed in the air. In fact those on whose support they make their presumptions will also be scattered. This is God’s prophecy and we have witnessed such mountains falling in the history of our Community.
‘And when the Messengers are made to appear at the appointed time —‘ is a prophecy about the advent of the Messiah and Mahdi. That a Prophet will be raised who will represent all Prophets. This is also a prophecy that was given by all the Prophets of God during their eras and was fulfilled in the person of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). God revealed to him: ‘The champion of Allah; in the mantles of the Prophets’ [Tadhkirah p. 793].
Reading an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Hudhur said that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) received a measure of the special attributes of all the Prophets of God starting from Adam (on whom be peace). The enemies of all the Prophets met with dreadful endings. In this age too there are people comparable to them and if they do not repent all the previous torments can amalgamate in this age. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said it is merely God’s attribute of compassion that has given respite to some so far. Hudhur prayed that may God give sense to the world to understand this message and may He enable us to spread this message and try and save the world as much as we can.