Friday Sermon: Fulfill obligations of populating mosques with taqwa and quality salat

September 30th, 2011

Huzur (aba) delivered the Friday sermon on September 30, 2011 at Masjid Bait-ul-Nasar, in Furuset, Oslo, Norway and officially inaugurated the mosque before the Friday Sermon. Huzur (aba) began his sermon by reciting a verse of the Holy Quran (9:18) and then by announcing the official inauguration of the beautiful mosque. He said that the Norwegian Jamaat had to meet and overcome many obstacles, due to which the construction was stalled and took a long time to complete. However, the construction of mosques is not dependent on its inauguration. The fact that Huzur (aba) has officially inaugurated the mosque is just an outward expression of gratitude to Allah, Who commands us that when He bestows us with blessings, we should express our gratefulness in return of these rewards. Allah Almighty then makes us heirs to greater blessings. One way of expression of gratitude is through prayers and supplication, and another way is through our overt expression. However, the real gratitude comes through populating the mosques and filling them with prayers. It is incumbent upon every Ahmadi Muslim to remember this very important principle. Allah Almighty then rewards this gratitude manifold.

A Hadith, narrated by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (rz), says that the Holy Prophet (saw) said: Whoever goes to the masjid in the morning or in the evening, Allah prepares for him a good hospitality in Paradise as often as he goes to the masjid, morning or evening. (Bukhari) In view of this Hadith, one can only imagine the type of hospitality he would receive if he goes to the masjid five times a day in an average life span (50-60 years of offering salat). Huzur (aba) said that when we receive guests in our homes, we make every effort to serve them to the best of our ability, even when our resources are limited. But there are no limitations to the resources or the mercy of Allah Almighty; we can only imagine what His hospitality would be like. We should try to gain every such opportunity so that we can reap His promised blessings. Huzur (aba) said that he hopes that each Ahmadi Muslim will try to increase his or her efforts to gain these blessings, and dutifully fulfil his obligations towards Allah and fellow human beings. These efforts will pave the way to establishing a good society in our surroundings.

Huzur (aba) mentioned that in the past day or so, many radios, television and newspapers have interviewed him upon his arrival in Oslo. One of the questions they ask among others is what is the objective of constructing this mosque, and what kind of activities will take place in it. Huzur (aba) said that his reply is that the construction of a mosque means that the surrounding area will become reminiscent of paradise and that the beautiful teachings of Islam, which are nothing but teachings of peace and love will be inculcated in the society. The construction of a mosque means that the message of love, peace and brotherhood would spread in the town, the city and throughout the country. Huzur (aba) said that in view of this, it becomes the responsibility of each Ahmadi Muslim more so than ever before to fulfil this obligation to the best extent. The media has given positive reports about the inauguration of this mosque; this is another reason why we must express our gratitude to God Almighty. Huzur (aba) compared the example of expression of gratitude to ripples in the water, which extend and expand to great distances; however, the ripples at one point fade away, but the blessings of Allah only increase, such that when this worldly life comes to an end, the blessings continue, in the Hereafter. Huzur (aba) said that the blessings are rewarded in proportion to our efforts, therefore we should seize every such opportunity that presents to us. Huzur (aba) then presented the translation of the Quranic verse that he recited at the beginning of the sermon:

“He alone can keep the Mosques of Allah in a good and flourishing condition who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and observes Prayer, and pays the Zakat, and fears none but Allah; so these it is who may be among those who reach the goal.” (9:18)

This verse indicates that in order to reap the rewards, the first condition is to have faith in Allah Almighty; and this profession of faith should not just be mere recitation of the words. In fact, the faith should be inculcated deep within one’s heart. Huzur (aba) then referred to the following Quranic verse:

“The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, “You have not believed yet; but rather say, ‘We have accepted Islam,’ for the true belief has not yet entered into your hearts.” But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not detract anything from your deeds Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” (49:15)

In light of this verse, the obedience of Allah and His Messenger is the first step in infusing faith within oneself. Today, Ahmadi Muslims are targeted as Non-Muslims and are persecuted. But Huzur (aba) said that we have faith, therefore we are Muslims. Despite the severe persecution, Ahmadis remain steadfast. As long as we make efforts to increase in our faith, we will remain Momin (Believers). No certification from any mufti, maulvi or country is required for being a Muslim. The true seal is from God Almighty alone. The Promised Messiah (as) says that a true Muslim becomes heir to God’s blessings by focusing his complete attention towards carrying out righteous deeds. Huzur (aba) said that accepting the Messiah of the latter days will not suffice, unless we continue in our struggles to improve our relationship with God Almighty.

Allah Almighty has given some signs of a true Momin. The first is that he loves Allah above all other beings and things, and such a love will guarantee the fact that Mosques will be filled with worshippers.

“And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship other than Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah and if those who transgress could now see the time when they shall see the punishment, they would realize that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishing.” (2:166)

Children will also take influence when we make the effort to become models for them, such that generation after generation will tread on this path. It is absolutely incumbent upon us to propagate this love of God to our children and future generations as we make every effort to inculcate it within our own hearts. When man loves God, God loves him back and becomes his Wali (Friend). When God Almighty becomes a man’s friend, then no amount or no type of persecution or enmity has any effect on that person. People who try to create difficulties or obstacles in their way will either tire themselves out or the pious among them will join us. Therefore, a strong message needs to be given to the world that the love of Allah takes precedence over all things.

The second sign of a Momin is:

“The response of the believers, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger in order that he may judge between them, is only that they say: ‘We hear and we obey.’ And it is they who will prosper.” (24:52)

Huzur (aba) said that the success of these Believers is in their submission to God Almighty. In this regard, Huzur (aba) said that whatever responsibilities are entrusted to people should be fulfilled with great care. For instance, office-bearers should give their time justly and ensure that the rights of all members of Jama’at are being looked after. An office-bearer of Jamaat should not consider it as any other worldly office, but should think of himself as a servant. In fact, Huzur (aba) says that when people come to him and tell him about which office they hold in their jamaat, he often tells them that they should re-phrase their thought and say that they have the blessing of serving the jamaat in such and such department. The word “office” has a different connotation and brings about a feeling of importance, whereas saying that I serve the jamaat signifies a more humble attitude. Huzur (aba) said that when an Ahmadi Muslim has the added responsibility of holding an office, then he or she must be conscious of their duties at a much higher level. In this regard, Huzur (aba) specifically addressed the Lajna drawing their attention towards the observance of Purdah. He said that there are some occasions where men and women mix freely calling each other their self-proclaimed brother/sister/father/etc. The Holy Quran does not support this view at all. Therefore, office-holders, whether at a halqa level or a national level, should observe the highest standards of purdah and their attitudes should be in line with the Holy Quran so that they become models for other lajna members and children. Some say that purdah and hijab are not necessary in today’s world. Huzur (aba) said that he wants to re-emphasize that all of the Quranic commandments are applicable today till the end of times. It is in the practice of the righteous deeds that we are tied to the establishment of Khilafat.

“And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths that, if thou command them, they will surely go forth. Say, ‘Swear not; what is required is actual obedience in what is right. Surely, Allah is well aware of what you do.’” (24:54)

In light of this verse, the commandments of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (saw) must be obeyed. Huzur (aba) also instructed that men are addressed, even before women, to lower their gaze and not to mix freely with women. Therefore both men and women should observe these injunctions.

Due to the shortage of time, Huzur (aba) said that he could not go into the details of enumerating all the signs of a Believer, however, some of them are as follows. Another important duty we are entrusted with is the use of our votes during election, and this is tied in with our pledge of initiation and we will therefore be held accountable of discharging this trust. We must also stay starkly away from arrogance, and instead, inculcate humility within ourselves. We should fill our hearts with fear of God. We must focus our attention to Quranic teachings, and this can only be done when we know what is written in the Quran. Therefore, every Ahmadi should recite the Quran daily and try to understand it and then practice its teachings. Every Ahmadi should remember that belief in the Hereafter is a requirement for a Muslim and that we will be held accountable for our life in this world in the Hereafter. Every Ahmadi should make every effort to implement all of God Almighty’s commandments in his life and remember the objective of his creation, which is worship of God. A Mosque can become a place where expression of these commandments can lead to establishing unity of God and worship. Huzur (aba) also said that in order to fulfil the duties towards God and fellow human beings, resources are required, therefore Ahmadis should be at the forefront of making financial sacrifices. Thus, the objective of constructing mosques remains the same: to gain the pleasure of God.

Huzur (aba) then elaborated on the financial sacrifices of the Norway Jamaat in way of this mosque, which cost 104 million kronos to build. In 2005, when Huzur (aba) drew the attention of the Jamaat towards the construction of this mosque, which had actually started but stalled due to certain reasons, many men and women made great financial sacrifice. One sold his home, another sold his car, others worked overtime to present funds for the mosque. Others presented sacrifices by purchasing the carpet for the mosque, or the furniture, etc. Huzur (aba) prayed for all who made such sacrifices. May God Almighty reward everyone abundantly, Ameen.

Huzur (aba) re-emphasized the great responsibility being laid by the construction of this mosque. Where this is a time to rejoice, it is also a time to reflect. Every Ahmadi Muslim must try to truly understand his/her responsibilities to the fullest. This sacrifice should not be an isolated or a solitary event, but in fact, a continual effort. The Promised Messiah (as) said that the true beauty of a mosque is from those who offer prayers with devotion, otherwise, a mosque will remain desolate and unoccupied. The mosque of the Holy Prophet (saw) was simple and small, yet it was filled with worshippers. The objective is to attain Taqwa, as this is the teaching of the Holy Quran. Prayers are beneficial only when offered in this spirit of gaining Taqwa, otherwise, they lead to Hellfire. Faith grows with Taqwa and Taqwa irrigates it and causes it to flourish. This Jamaat was established only to inculcate Taqwa in the hearts of people. The one who has Taqwa is one who is amongst us.

Huzur (aba) reminded every Ahmadi that unless he fills his heart with Taqwa, he shall be held accountable. May Allah Almighty have mercy on us. Ameen.

Huzur (aba) then presented some facts and figures about the Mosque:

Total area of land: 9563 square meters

Total area of Mosque: 7759 square meters

Area of Mosque (men’s side): 880 square meters

The hall in the basement can also hold up to 850 worshippers.

There is a self-contained, three bedroom apartment.

The terrace of the hall can also accommodate 800-1000 worshippers.

A total of 2250 worshippers can offer prayers simultaneously in this Mosque.

The dome is 5 meters tall.

There is a library and offices for Jamaat offices, and a separate Lajna library and office. There is a large kitchen.

There were some difficulties in obtaining permissions from the local council. Some of the conditions were met by constructing the adjacent road and footpath to the Mosque.

The Mosque is located on a motorway en route to the Oslo Airport, and is highly visible. About 80 thousand cars pass by every day.

It is located close to the underground and bus service. All in all, it is a central location.

In the end, Huzur (aba) prayed that may this mosque become a source of prayer and supplication, a path that leads to righteousness, may it be an abode of Tawhid, where everyone lives in harmony with one another, and may it become a model of peace, brotherhood and love, Ameen.

Before offering Jumma prayers, Huzur (aba) announced the sad news of martyrdom of Mr. Safeer Ahmad Butt Sahib of Karachi, Pakistan, son of Hameed Ahmad Butt Sahib, grandson of Hafiz Abdul Wahid Sahib. He was born in 1972, and completed his education up to FA from Sindh. He was employed as policeman Assistant Sub-Inspector. On 25th September, after receiving a phone call, he left on his motorbike to respond to the call, when he was killed after unknown gunmen opened fire. He was a brave and courageous police officer. In Pakistan, Ahmadis are targeted not only for religious reasons, but due to the general lawlessness as well. Ahmadis are in the forefront in offering sacrifices for their country, yet they are blamed for being disloyal. May Allah Almighty grant a lofty station to the deceased in Paradise, Ameen.