Friday Sermon: Muharram and status of Hadhrat Hussein(ra)

December 10th, 2010

Hudhur began the Friday Sermon by reading an Urdu poetic verse from a lengthy poem by Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). Its English translation is as follows:

They make you Hussein-like and themselves become like Yazid,

What a good bargain it is; let the enemy hurl arrows

Explaining, Hudhur said this poem was written in 1935, advising patience and steadfastness, when commotion against the Community was at its height. He said today he will speak with reference to these two lines and not the poem as a whole. For every Muslim, the lines depict a most tragic and heartrending event in the history of Islam. However, only those who are being cruelly persecuted can have a true insight into these words. Every Muslim has sympathy and compassion regarding this event. Shia community expresses this in their own way every year during the month of Muharram. In our view they take it to the level of transgression, but it is their way.

Today, who but the Ahmadiyya Community can encompass the tragedy of Karbala. In the aforementioned poetic verse two individuals are mentioned; both professed the Kalima (Muslim declaration of faith). Yet one comprehended the reality of the Kalima and was a victim, and the other perpetrated cruelty while disregarding the Kalima. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) , along with his family and a few associates was martyred at Karbala. This was a continuation from the martyrdom of Hadhrat Usman (may Allah be pleased with him). This is what happens when taqwa lessens, personal gain overrides communal gain and worldly matters are given precedence over faith. The height of barbarity is committed and people of God are murdered in the name of God. People who profess the Kalima persecute others Kalima-followers, children are murdered and all manner of cruelty is perpetrated against people of God who sacrifice their all for God. What could be more unfortunate than to carry out brutality in the name of God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)? The Qur’an states: And whoso kills a believer intentionally, his reward shall be Hell wherein he shall abide. And Allah will be wroth with him and will curse him and will prepare for him a great punishment.’ (4:94) God’s most intense displeasure for such people is that they will be in Hell for a long period of time and His cruse is on them. This is indeed a most grievous punishment and it could not be more unfortunate that a person who professes the Kalima is given such a punishment. On the other hand, God states about those innocents against whom cruelty is perpetrated: ‘…they are living, in the presence of their Lord, and are granted gifts from Him...’ (3:170). Hudhur explained nothing could be a greater reward than this.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that Hadhrat Hussein and Hassan (may Allah be pleased with them both) will be the leaders of young men in Paradise and prayed for them in these words: ‘O Allah, I love them, You too love them.’ One who acquired such a high status will certainly be the inheritor of lofty stations in Paradise and his murderers will receive God’s severe chastisement.

Hudhur said we are currently going through the first ten days of the month of Muharram. On the 10th of Muharram, the beloved of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) was murdered. The barbaric people did not realise the station of the person they committed the violence against. When faith diminishes, all senses are erased and fear of God is gone and it becomes immaterial what station anyone holds in the sight of God and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The details of this martyrdom and what followed ensures one that the people who committed this may have uttered the Kalima but in fact they did not believe in God.

The Holy Qur’an teaches justice and moderation even against the enemy and this includes the enemy who was in pursuit of eliminating Islam and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). It was forbidden to mutilate bodies during warfare as was the custom in Arabia. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had come to eradicate all such matters. But the beloved grand-son of God’s beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) about whom he had also said, ‘one who loves my grandsons loves me and one who loves me loves God and owing to love of God will go to Paradise’ was treated in this barbaric way.

Hudhur explained that those who truly love also hold dear the loved ones of their beloved. They do not claim to ardently love someone and only cherish their dear ones during their life-time. This cannot be the way of those who are connected to God. Once during the time of his Khilafat Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was going somewhere when he saw Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) playing. He picked him up and said, ‘he was very dear to my master, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). That is why I am also expressing love to him.’ Hudhur added, yet how was he treated at Karbala and how was the teaching of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) disregarded.

Traditions relate that when Hadhrat Hussein’s (may Allah be pleased with him) soldiers were overcome by the enemy he turned his horse towards the Euphrates. Someone said, ‘come in between the stream and them’ and people blocked his way and did not let him go to the river. A man threw an arrow at Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) which struck under his chin. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) had been fighting the enemy on foot like a brilliant rider attacks while evading arrows. Prior to martyrdom he was heard saying; ‘By God, after me you will not murder anyone from among people of God on whose murder God will be angrier at you than my murder. By God, I hope that God will humiliate you and thus bless me. He will take my revenge in a way that will astonish you. By God, if you murder me, God will create a warring situation among you and your blood will be spilled. God will not suffice at this, so much so that a great punishment will be increased manifold for you’.

After martyring Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) the people of Koofa (enemy) started pillaging the tents and even snatched coverings from the heads of women. A man cried out, who would stamp on the body of Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) with their horses. Ten riders responded and trampled his body with their horses, crushing his chest and back. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) had 45 arrow inflicted wounds on his body. Another tradition relates he had 33 spear wounds and 47 sword wounds. The height of cruelty was that the head of Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) was sent to the governor of Koofa the next day who had it affixed in Koofa. What can be worse than this barbaric treatment? Only a most wicked enemy can mete out such a treatment but not one who professes the Kalima and believes in the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), who had indeed most strictly forbidden such heinous practises. Indeed this was done by people who were materialistic and had exceeded all limits to attain their objective. It was their materialistic tendencies that had spurred Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) not to take the bai’at of Yazid.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) writes that people were unanimous on the bai’at of Yazid, the impure, but Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) did not accept him. Yet his effort was to have conciliation and he had sent most of his associates back and only a few remained with him. He told the representatives of Yazid that he did not want war and asked to be allowed to go to the border so that he could be martyred in the cause of Islam or asked to be taken to Yazid so that he could make him understand. However, war was imposed on him which he faced valiantly. He only had 70 odd people against a large army and they gave their lives for the right cause. God has His own ways of reckoning and vengeance. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) had said that God will take revenge. Yazid had temporary success but who is known in good terms today? Which Muslim names his child after Yazid? Rather, he is remembered by the term the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used for him: Yazid, the impure. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) did not wish for governance, he only wanted truth to prevail.

Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote that the principle which Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) stood for was that the people of a country, a community have the right of electing/choosing seat of Khilafat. A son cannot give this right to his father. He said this principle is as sacred today as it was before and Hadhrat Hussein’s (may Allah be pleased with him) martyrdom has made this even more prominent. After Yazid’s death, his son Muawiyah, named after his grandfather, took bai’at from people but then went to his house and did not emerge for 40 days. When he re-emerged, he announced that although he had taken bai’at on his hand, he did not consider himself worthy of it and had only done so to avoid divisions. He said if anyone was deserving of leadership, he would give it to them but he did not see anyone worthy of it. He said he too was not worthy of it as was not his father or his grandfather. He said his father was much less in station than Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) and his grandfather lesser than Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). For this reason, he said, he resigned from leadership and it was up to the people whose bai’at they wished to take. His mother who was listening to this in Purdah was extremely angry at him but Muawiyah said he had spoken the truth. He went home and did not come out again and died.

Hudhur said it is a tremendous testimony that Yazid’s own son did not agree with his Khilafat. He had pondered over the matter with seriousness and decided that he was not prepared to take this burden on. The sacrifice of Hadhrat Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) gives us many lessons. He gave his life to established truth. We should always pray to God to seek His help to keep us on the right path.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that Messiah/Jesus (on whom be peace) has been likened to Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) . This means that the Messiah to come will also partake of this metaphor. But the time of second Messiah will InshaAllah not repeat the matters which weakened Islam. Yet, we should always pray that there is no slip-up in our faith. One aspect that God will not repeat is regarding Khilafat, which will now be constant. This was foretold by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also explained it that some matters will not be repeated. He said that the first Messiah was put on the Cross by the Jews whereas he will be breaking the Cross. Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) was martyred by Yazid whereas through the people of the second Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him), the throngs of Yazid will be defeated.

Hudhur said the month of Muharram teaches us to always send blessings and salutations (Durud) on the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his family and bring about pure changes in ourselves to play our role. We should display steadfastness in front of people with Yazid-like nature and be resolute. Only the Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) -like will be successful. God has commanded prayer and patience. Patience does not only signify enduring cruelty but also entails doing pious works with resolve. To express the truth without any fear is also patience. We should always abide by the model of Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) to partake of a measure of the triumph that is destined with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Hudhur said Durud is most significant, ahadith draw our attention to it, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) drew our attention to it and most significantly, the Holy Qur’an draws our attention to it. We should concentrate on it especially during this month. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) once initiated this and today Hudhur echoed it. Hudhur said invoking Durud was the most excellent way of expressing one’s sentiments about Karbala. It is a very good way of expressing love for the beloved of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Hudhur prayed that may God enable us to especially say the Durud these days and may it also be a source of personal and communal blessings for us.

Hudhur read an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) regarding which he said every Ahmadi should have it in his/her view. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that it should be very clear that anyone who says that God forbid Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) did not take bai’at of the Khalifa and was rebellious is a great liar. He said that it is our belief that Yazid was an impure person who did not fulfil what a true believer signifies. Love of world had blinded him whereas Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) was pure and among those chosen people whom God purifies Himself. He was among those who are of Paradise. His devotion to God is a model for us. Destroyed is the heart who is his enemy and successful is the heart that demonstrates his love by practice. It is extreme lack of faith to deride Hadhrat Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him), one who does this, wastes his faith.

Hudhur prayed that may God always enable us to love the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his family and also to send Durud on him. Hudhur said we should pray that may God remove the cruelty that is being perpetrated in the name of God and His Prophet in Pakistan and some other countries. Sectarian disturbances between Shia and Sunni people take place during Muharram and terrorist activities are also committed. May God protect from those and may this month pass in peace for Muslims countries. May they understand the objective of martyrdom of Hadhrat Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) and also recognise the Imam of the age.

Next Hudhur announced that he would lead Funeral Prayers in absentia of three people:

Mehdi Tapani sahib was from Zimbabwe where he had served as the national Tabligh secretary. He passed away on 15 Nov. He had taken his bai’at in 1990, was very helpful in acquiring land for a mosque. He leaves behind his widow, five sons and two daughters who are all married and are Ahmadis.

AlHaaj Abu Bakr Gai sahib was from the Gambia. He passed away on 2 December. He took his bai’at in 2004 although from 1999 to 2004 he had worked as a doctor under the Nusrat Jehan scheme. He became a minster of health for the Gambian government in 2009. After his bai’at in 2004, he was foremost in chanda contributions and was very active in Tabligh work. He always said that he had experienced a miraculous spiritual change since taking bai’at. He had a great connection with Khilafat. Hudhur said his governmental position was helpful to us, may God provide us with a good substitute.

Izzatul Nisa sahiba, who passed away on 17 November in Bangladesh was the mother of our missionary and in-charge Bangla desk Feroz Alam sahib. She was a very pious lady, very regular with her Salat and Tahajjud. She was a sincere Ahmadi. She had taken great care of the education of her children and in spite of having a humble background cared for others in the family who were disadvantaged. She had tremendous devotion for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Khilafat and told our detractors they had no idea of the blessings they were rejecting. She was a Moosia and leaves behind three sons and five daughters. May God elevate her station in Paradise and grant steadfastness to the bereaved.