Hudhur gave a discourse on ‘Khaira Ummah’ (best people) and the standard set by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in his Friday Sermon today. He cited the Quranic verse: ‘You are the best people raised for the good of mankind; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah. And if the People of the Book had believed, it would have surely been better for them. Some of them are believers, but most of them are disobedient.’ (3:111). Hudhur said the subject-matter of this verse requires repeated reminding and this is why he has given discourses on it before. In it God had given a huge responsibility to those who believe, safeguard and strengthen their own belief as well as that of their next generation, and who also advise good to all and sundry around them for the sake of God. In the current time, these are believers, who have accepted the Imam of the age, who is the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Just as the early Muslims kept the Quranic commandments and pronouncements of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in view and put them in practice in order to seek God’s pleasure and were successful in this, in the current age, this is the obligation of Ahmadis.
Ahmadis need to self-reflect as to how much are they fulfilling the obligation of being ‘the best people’. How much do their word and deed match, how much they, through personal practice and advice, are trying to save the world. This self-reflection is not to be based on any self-created standard, rather on the standard which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) set, which Hudhur would expound later in the Sermon. Nations begin to decline when they rely on self-created standards and forget their primary objective. The Qur’an informs us that earlier nations forgot their teaching and were destroyed or practised harmful innovations to the extent of deterioration; moral and spiritual ruin. Sanctity of God or that of Prophets did not remain. Such is the state of people of the Western world in the current times. It is a Divine favour on Muslims that God has safeguarded the last Book of religious law. In spite of the majority of Muslims not abiding by their faith properly, in every age, a group of people continued to practise the teachings of the Qur’an and in the latter-days, according to His promise, God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Today, all Ahmadis claim to accept the Messiah who brought faith back from the Pleiades and promised to once again establish Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) religion to its original form. We are indeed fortunate that God took the responsibility to take the message of Islam through the Muhammadan Messiah Himself and allowed us to be part of this Divine destiny. He informed the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) ‘I shall carry thy message to the ends of the earth’ [Tadhkirah, p. 381].
Hudhur explained that in order to be part of the destiny associated with this revelation we need to create a revolutionary change in ourselves and become those who attain God’s pleasure. If we have the traits that the aforementioned verse cites, and we engage in Tabligh, it would attract pious-natured people across the board. People of various religions or no religion, all will consider good morals as good. Understanding this obligation, and to attain God’s pleasure, we should enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad, draw attention towards paying the dues of mankind and by displaying weariness towards usurping rights of others, prevent people from doing so. However, the first requirement is to self-reflect. We will only have any effect if we put our own internal system in order. In putting our internal selves in order we have to constantly have it in view that God is watching over us at all time. Prior to enjoining what is good to others, we have to bring ourselves in line with those who ‘believe in Allah’. And belief in God is true only when love of God and pleasure of God is more intense than all one’s loves and pleasures, as the Qur’an states: ‘…those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah…’ (2:166).
Hudhur said one cares the most for that which one loves. If we ponder, we will realise that being ‘Khaira Ummah’ is not just a declaration of faith, rather by enhancing in love of God, one would be included in ‘Khaira Ummah’. One would be enjoining what is good and forbidding evil. In such a situation a true believer’s foremost thought would be whether he or she has the quality that he or she is enjoining others or does he or she has the bad habit that he or she is forbidding others from? God is the Beloved Who is ‘the Knower of the unseen and the seen’ (6:74). Thus God would say that you declare My love but your heart is tarnished and you are saying something that you do not practice. In such a situation it would the internal system of a true believer that would bring him or her to the straight path. If someone’s internal system is not effective, it is cause for concern.
Hudhur said our Community has traditions which are established by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and his Khulafa in light of the teachings of Islam. Disciplinary action is taken from preventing some matters entering our Community because a true believer should only practice what is good. Without this, neither can he or she enjoin what is good nor can he or she forbid evil. Once we have associated ourselves with the Imam of the age to try and become ‘Khaira Ummah’, we have to relinquish worldliness and give up self-created standards of piety and only maintain those standards that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) taught the Community having received guidance from God and in light of the teaching of Islam. This is a very important point that every Ahmadi should understand.
Recently, some practices contrary to the teachings of the Community took place during a wedding in a Jama’at. Hudhur took disciplinary action against the people. Some among them did not have much religious knowledge and were not much aware of the traditions of the Community, although this is not an excuse. Every Ahmadi should display his or her true faith and should try to achieve it. However, some among them were those who have religious knowledge, serve the Community and know the traditions and teachings of the Community. They too participated in the wedding and showed weakness and let alone prevent what was bad, they sat and observed all the absurdities. Rather than practice ‘forbids evil’ they became part of it. Later on, they wrote Hudhur that they had participated to reform others. This was strange reformation that neither was attention drawn to prevent what was bad, nor was good counselled. If any good was counselled, it was on a different subject. If good counsel was given at all, it was not to prevent that particular evil, but was about different good aspects. It is like seeing a thief stealing and rather than stop him, help him in stealing but later tell him that telling the truth is good. Indeed, telling the truth is good, but at that particular time, ‘enjoin what is good and forbid evil’ entails preventing the thief from stealing.
If an Ahmadi believes in the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) then he or she should not be intimidated by society, rather should give precedence to faith. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) prayed for his progeny and his followers to be spared the awe of Dajjal. If those living in the West are awed by Dajjal, then what is left? In the incidence many people were involved and it was submitted to Hudhur that as many people were involved it may create anxiety in the Jama’at. Hudhur responded to them that disciplinary action will be taken, regardless of anxiety in the Jama’at and if some people succumb and leave, they may leave, Hudhur did not care. Only that will come to pass that Islam teaches us and what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has taught us; to avoid evil and absurd practices. Conflict in word and deed is not liked by God or His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Hudhur has said it before, as have other Khulafa, that if such weddings and functions are taking place in Ahmadi families, Ahmadis should simply leave, otherwise, it is cowardice and is tantamount to aiding the bad practice. It is love of society overcoming love of God. May God enable every Ahmadi to understand this point.
Hudhur cited a Hadith which sets out the standard of a true believer. It states: ‘There are four traits which, when found in a person, make him an absolute hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it. These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks promise; and when he argues, he uses abusive language.’
Explaining Hadhrat Syed WaliUllah Shah sahib wrote that the objective of including hypocrisy in discussing belief is the same as including kufr, (unbelief) shirk (associating partners with God) and all manner of immoderation and vulgarity. Hypocrisy also makes belief defective. It signifies disparity between what is obvious and what is hidden, the outer and inner self. The words when lying, the act when breaking promise and the intention when betraying trust or being treacherous are all contrary to fact. To break a pact and to use abusive language is also contrary to fact. As is to verbally profess belief when there is none in the heart, or if there is belief in the heart but is not verbally expressed or if no practical demonstration of belief is given. In short, all that is contrary to fact is hypocrisy. These ills can be seen quite a lot in these times and some of us also suffer from some of them. According to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to have any one of these failings involves a part of one’s heart in hypocrisy.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that had the hypocrites of the times of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) lived through this age, they would have been considered greatly devout and true believers because when evil increases even small virtue is greatly valued. Hudhur said we should be mindful that having accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) our standards should be far greater than the other Muslims.
Be a trust of national, personal or communal nature, we should honour it. At our place of employment, no matter what the rest of the staff does, our practice should distinguish us from others. Today, we proudly tell the outside world that the standard of trust of an Ahmadi is better. Just being ‘better’ is nothing to be proud of, rather what one can be proud of is when the standard is the best possible. The reason for no progress in the Third world is because at every step and every level trust is betrayed. Pakistan is very proud to be a Muslim country but the level of corruption there has increased further. Betrayal of trust is also very high among other Muslims and it continues to increase. Do they suppose that just by virtue of being Muslims or announcing that they will impose Islamic laws they can become Khaira Ummah? It is not a question of one or two ills, rather, they have all the ills, yet they are still believers and as far as true believers are concerned, they are Kaffir (disbeliever) in their eyes. In this deteriorated society, indeed the due of trust can be honoured by establishing good models. Today an Ahmadi should be the greatest trustee of the trust that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) brought, that is, the message of Unity of God and honouring dues of God and dues of mankind. For this the first step is to reform one’s own self.
The second sign of a hypocrite according to the aforementioned Hadith is that he is a liar. Hudhur said it is the conflict between word and deed that is the hypocrisy. God has regarded falsehood equal to shirk. It is a shame that today the majority of Muslims have forgotten the difference between truth and falsehood. Today if Ahmadis do not undertake a Jihad against this, they would be instilling a blemish in their hearts that has no connection with the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Islam. If, having claimed to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), who came to establish Shariah, falsehood remains a part of us, how could Shariah be established? Rather than look at others, there is a great need to self-reflect.
The third sign of a hypocrite that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) gave is not honouring promises/pledges. Such is the state of the world, in trade, in everyday dealings and on national level there is so much dishonouring of promises that it is beyond belief. Some business person told Hudhur that they mix ordinary rice with good quality Basmati rice exported to the world from Pakistan in a way that is undetectable. Hudhur said they do not care even if they are found out and the effect it could have on their business and the disgrace it would bring to the country. Not only is this breaking pledge, it is also falsehood and betrayal of trust.
The fourth sign of a hypocrite is that when he argues, he uses abusive language. Hudhur said we see this among our opponents, on every TV channel and web site that is designed against us. Ahmadis should always avoid this and should never respond to harshness in a manner that may lead to abusive language. We should keep the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in view. He was ‘Mercy for all the worlds’, he dispensed mercy even in response to harshness. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also demonstrated that he overlooked even when people were abusive to him to his face. May God keep every Ahmadi protected from the ills which destroy belief and societal peace. Unfortunately, majority of Muslims are embroiled in such ills and are bringing Islam in disrepute and the peace of many Muslim countries is destroyed. Today the war-like situation between the masses and the ruling people in Muslim countries is a result of the hypocrisy which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) identified and it is giving the non-Muslims a chance to be disrespectful to Islam.
A Jew columnist wrote in an Israeli newspaper that the teaching of Islam is not peaceful and that this is obvious from the actions of Muslims. He said peaceful teaching can be only found in Judaism or Christianity and only a very small minority of Muslims talks of peace. Hudhur said it is tragic that those whose teaching is clearly severe are pointing the finger of blame at Islam due to the actions of Muslims. Ahmadis cannot be pleased if the indication of the small peaceful minority is towards Ahmadis or any other group of Muslims that at least a small minority is not disgraced. Our happiness will be when it will be said about the majority of Muslims that they give the message of peace because of the teaching of Islam. We should pray that may God give sense to the Muslim Ummah to truly honour the dues of being Khaira Ummah and may we also honour our obligation.
Next, Hudhur gave correction of a reference from last Friday Sermon. Hudhur said he usually cross checks the references or has them checked, however this was reference of a scholar from our literature that Hudhur took, but it was incorrect. Regarding the death of Abu Lahab, a tradition relates that seven days after the battle of Badr he died of the plague and his body gave off a foul stench and was thrown in a pit and covered with stones. Another tradition relates that his death was caused by a boil and his sons did not bury him for a couple of nights, until his body started decomposing at home and gave off stench after which he was buried. The nikah of a son of Abu Lahab was performed with daughter of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) Umme Kulsoom. Before going off on an expedition he went to see the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) with the intent to create trouble and told him that he denied Surah Al Najm. Then, as a mark of insult he spat and divorced the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) daughter. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) cursed him and it was during the expedition that he then went on to that wolves tore him apart.
Hudhur announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia of Rasheed Ahmadi Butt sahib of Lahore who passed away on 18 October 2010 at the age of 71 years. He had been injured with a gun shot wound to his leg at Darul Zikr on 28 May 2010. He had lost a lot of blood and had become weak. Through out his life he served the Community in many roles and was a devoted Ahmadi with a very sincere connection with Khilafat. He used to associate all his successes to the prayers of the Khalifa of the time. May God elevate his status and grant steadfastness to his family.