Friday Sermon: Increase the fervour of supplications in face of intensified persecution

October 7th, 2011

Huzur (aba) delivered the Friday sermon from Hamburg, Germany. Huzur (aba) began the sermon by giving an overview on the persecution of Jama’at Ahmadiyya, which he said is not something that is new or began in the recent past. Despite the fact that the Promised Messiah (as) was well-acclaimed as a defender of Islam due to his services in propagating the true teachings of this religion, after he claimed to be the Mahdi and Messiah of latter days, the same people who supported him turned bitterly against him, and in fact joined forces with those Non-Muslims who left no stone unturned in humiliating Islamic teachings and spreading hate against its founder, the Holy Prophet (saw). These people fabricated a web of lies and made false allegations (even of murder) against the Promised Messiah (as), who faced persecution throughout the course of his life. Apart from the court cases and other difficulties presented in his way, he also witnessed the martyrdom of two of his loyal and devoted disciples in Kabul. One of those martyred was the Raees-e-Aazam of the King’s court, his name was Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed, an extremely pious and righteous man. The Promised Messiah (as) mentioned in detail the accounts of these martyrdoms in his book Tadhkiratush Shahadatain (The Narrative of Two Martyrdoms). In this book, the spiritual status of these two is also mentioned, and in the end, the Promised Messiah (as) has addressed Sahibzada Abdul Latif in these words:

O Abdul Latif may thousands of blessings be showered on thee, for thou hast, in my own lifetime, manifested unparalleled fidelity for me.

The Promised Messiah (as) further writes in the same book:

We exhort our followers to cultivate faith similar to his (i.e. Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed), because if a person is not wholly devoted to God and remains partly inclined towards mundane things, he cannot be reckoned to be a true believer in heaven.

This is the prayer that every Ahmadi should perform and make every effort to reach these standards of piety and sacrifice. We are already aware of the history of all prophets, which proves that difficulties and troubles were inflicted on them and their followers, so much so that the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw), the beloved prophet of God Almighty, for whom the entire universe was created, along with his followers also passed through such trials and tribulations. In addition to financial sacrifices, thousands laid the lives of their children and their own lives in the way of God Almighty. So whenever the Jamaat Ahmadiyya goes through such a phase of intense persecution, we should draw inspiration for steadfastness and devotion from the life of the prophets and especially that of the Holy Prophet (saw). It also leads to the firm faith that these periods of extreme difficulty will lay the foundations of forthcoming victories. Such periods of difficulty also provide us with the opportunity to gain further nearness to God Almighty by offering supplication and lamentations before our Lord and to continue to strengthen this bond with The Divine. There is no doubt that the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) did not refrain from offering sacrifices in way of their faith, but the victory of Islam was not a result only of these sacrifices, it was also due to the fervent and earnest prayers that were offered by the early followers of Islam, and most of all due to the humble prayers of the beloved Prophet of Allah (saw), who cried and shed tears through the night and shook the Divine threshold and brought about such a great revolution.

However, the question is: was the period of successes that was to result from such grand supplications to last only for 50 or 60 years or the first few centuries following Islam? Of course not. Just as the Holy Prophet (saw) has been given the title of “Khatam al Anbiya” (Seal of the Prophets) till the end of times, similarly, this victory of Islam is also to last till the end of times. Indeed, there was a period of darkness, which ended with the coming of the “aakhireen” i.e. the advent of the Promised Messiah (as) and the righteous followers who entered his Jamaat. This second phase of victory of Islam was to witness the same successes as were witnessed by the first. But the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) and those who came later relied solely and primarily on the authority of Allah Almighty and not on their own efforts. They supplicated before their Creator and adorned their night with worship. Thus, the second phase of “aakhireen”, when the Jihad of the sword has come to an end, must place a great emphasis on prayers and supplication and every Ahmadi must fully understand this. No doubt, this is the age of intellectual debate and presentation of logical argumentation. The Promised Messiah (as) has left a treasure trove of these proofs and reasoning. No faith can now challenge the beautiful teachings of Islam and the Quran. But, the actuality is that these intellectual and logical arguments will only be beneficial when we will make every effort to prostrate and supplicate before God Almighty and truly fulfil our duties in this context.

The Jamaat Ahmadiyya is on the forefront to prove the superiority of Islam over other religions, to reply to the false allegations on the beautiful teachings of the Holy Quran, to remove the misconceptions about the pure and magnificent life and character of the Holy Prophet (saw), to spread the truth about other faiths as well. A few years ago, when the Pope made allegations on the Holy Quran here in Germany, Huzur (aba) advised the Germany Jamaat to prepare a response to those allegations in form of a book, which was done in a beautiful manner. No other Muslim group had such an opportunity to present a response, whether in detail or in a superficial manner. There is another priest in US, and other opponents in Holland and Denmark, and elsewhere who never fail to raise false accusations against Islam. Huzur (aba) said that responses were prepared at every occasion in the best possible manner that we could. Jamaat Ahmadiyya is already confronting these opponents of Islam paving the way as a front-runner.

However, there is an element of opposition within the sphere of Islam as well, which Jamaat Ahmadiyya is also tackling. These are the people who spread the false teachings of Islam attributing them to the holy name of the Prophet of Islam (saw) and propagating nothing but hatred against the Promised Messiah (as) who was the most devoted servant of the Holy Prophet (saw). They are laying thorns in the paths of the followers of the Promised Messiah (as) and vehemently attacking them as a result of their vicious hatred. The so-called Ulema (scholars) in Pakistan are taking the lead in the performance and execution of these barbarous and heinous acts. The Promised Messiah (as) has written in the book Tadhkiratush Shahadatain that the Amir of Kabul was in fact afraid of the Ulema and thus the martyrdom of Sahibzada Abdul Lateef Shaheed was a result of the verdict of these Ulema. The Amir of Kabul himself held Sahibzada Abdul Lateef in reverence, but the Ulema controlled the Amir of Kabul. The exact same situation is present today in Pakistan. The Government along with the people of the nation are nothing but a puppet in the hands of these ulema and their hateful beliefs.

Ahmadis who live in Pakistan today are not distressed by the sacrifice of their properties and lives alone, they are tormented and troubled by the attacks and onslaughts in form of verbal abuse and printed posters using extremely filthy and heinous language (which a decent man would not be able to read or hear) in public places. The officials when addressed either pay no heed or admit that they have no power in face of these offenses. Tales of great patience and sacrifices are being written by the Ahmadis in Pakistan. These sacrifices can be turned into concrete results in only one way, that is to prostrate before God, lament before the Lord in worship, supplicate in the manner in which the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) did. It is prayers alone that can protect us against the onslaught of these evil opponents. Enemies are intensifying in their efforts, and our efforts in prayers and in supplication should be equally proportionate, in fact even greater, so that we witness Divine blessings in our favour. Huzur (aba) said that he wished to draw the attention of those Ahmadis living in Pakistan specifically to special prayers with greater zeal. Along with prayers, try to fast (nafl i.e. supererogatory) one day during the week as well. Huzur (aba) then addressed the Pakistani Ahmadis living in other parts of the world and advised them to supplicate for their fellow brethren living in Pakistan. He then turned towards the non-Pakistani Ahmadis and instructed them to supplicate as well. May Allah Almighty annihilate these enemies of God, so that peace can be established, and falsehood comes to an end so that the nation can be salvaged, otherwise there is no guarantee to save the country from a fate of doom. When supplications will be offered in earnest, they will be heard in the Divine threshold. Today, this persecution and hostility which has reached its extreme, should arouse in us the fervour and ardour to offer humble supplications before God Almighty. Each Ahmadi should offer prayers like an agitated soul because God does not reject the prayer offered in such a state. The Holy Quran states:

“Or, Who answers the distressed person when he calls upon Him, and removes the evil, and makes you successors in the earth? Is there a God besides Allah? Little is it that you reflect.” (27:63)

The Promised Messiah (as) has taught us that unless there is absolute anguish and tenderness in the heart which beseeches the Mercy of the Lord, that supplication will have no value in the sight of God Almighty. This anguish of the heart is a pre-condition for the acceptance of prayer.

Every Ahmadi should offer such prayers in pain and in humility, especially those living in Pakistan, who are experiencing these cruelties directly. Prayers are our only weapon, our only tool. Hadhrat Khalifatul Massih V (aba) experienced a dream during the previous Khilafat, in which he heard that if 100% of Ahmadis in Pakistan lament before God with the purity of heart, then these atrocities can be eliminated as a result of prayers offered merely in a few nights. Huzur (aba) said that since the first day of his Khilafat, he has been drawing the attention of the Jamaat towards dua, and towards bringing a change in one’s own spiritual condition. He said that unintentionally, his every speech or address takes the direction towards the same subject.

Huzur (aba) said that the promise of God Almighty of success to the Promised Messiah (as) will be fulfilled, and indeed it is being fulfilled as we witness the scenes of grand blessings on the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, even in Pakistan. Despite the inauspicious circumstances, the blow of the enemy at every occasion results in failure due to the Divine favours in our support. The trials however should lead us to purify ourselves and turn to God with even greater zeal. Every Ahmadi child, young, adult, old, man, woman should bow down in complete obedience before every commandment of God in absolute perfection and fulfil the rights towards God and fellow human beings. Then, every stroke of the enemy shall be annihilated before our eyes. God’s Will shall be executed no matter what; however, the timing is sometimes dependent on the spiritual state of a person or community. God has indicated that victory is guaranteed, but if you wish to hasten this victory, then man must bring about an intrinsic spiritual revolution. Let us pray and prostrate before God, so that His Mercy encompasses every member of the Jamaat and remove all obstacles. May Allah enable us to inculcate this standard of prayer in us so that we become the witnesses of the results of acceptance of these prayers. God Almighty is already showing us the fruits of our very humble and ordinary efforts due to His Grace and Benevolence. The successes that are bestowed on the Jamaat are far greater than the intensity of the enemy onslaught. In Pakistan and in the world elsewhere, Jamaat is taking strides and leaps forward. If anyone has an iota of doubt in his mind that our prayers are not accepted, then he must recite Istaghfar. It must be remembered that God is “Maalik” (Master). Our duty is to continue our efforts in offering supplications and prayers, which demand some etiquette, and we must observe these etiquettes.

The Promised Messiah (as) draws attention towards these etiquettes: While offering prayer, one must not give up and should not think that God does not accept prayer. Acceptance of prayer takes time. Secondly, we must not assume that the prayers will be accepted in precisely the same manner in which the prayer was offered, in fact, God Almighty expressed His Love in other ways. For instance, the successes which are destined for the Ahmadis in other parts of the world are deeply tied in with the sacrifices offered by the Ahmadis in Pakistan. Thirdly, one should analyse his own status as well: did he purify his heart and bow before his Lord in that state? When such an analysis is carried out, it is always the individual at shortfall.

The Promised Messiah (as) adds:

In order for the prayer to be accepted, reverence and respect (adab) must be inculcated in the heart. When the wise seek something of their King, they are extremely respectful to him. That is the teaching of Surah Al Fatiha which beings with the verse:

[1:2] All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds,

[1:3] The Gracious (Who provides without us asking for it), the Merciful (provides with His Benevolence),

[1:4] Master of the Day of Judgment (of this world and the Hereafter)

When an individual offers this praise and glory for His Lord, his attention is drawn to the fact that his Lord is a Magnanimous Lord and then supplicates before Him as He is Present before his eyes:

[1:5] Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help.

[1:6] Guide us in the right path — (not the path of those blinded people, who see no result of their efforts and prayers)

[1:7] The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, those who have not incurred Thy displeasure, and those who have not gone astray.

Therefore, Huzur (aba) says that we must learn and know the etiquettes of offering prayer. We must have firm belief on the basic attributes of God (Lord of all the Worlds, The Gracious, The Merciful, The Master of Day of Judgment). Only then we can divert our attention towards true worship and implore His Help and favours, which are granted to the pure-hearted. One should have trust that no action or speech of his will incur the displeasure of God Almighty. He should be fearful of God. A humble person is always prayerful that he may never reaches a state when he forgets His Creator. Prayers are then accepted, victory is granted, annihilation of enemy is witnessed. Huzur (aba) invited all Ahmadis to purify themselves thus and offer their humble supplications before God The Almighty. If the enemy has reached the extreme in his enmity, then let us also explore and reach the ultimate in our implorations before Our Helper. God Almighty shall come to our succour running towards us when we beseech Him in our prayers and destroy our enemy. The enemy shall have no power against the arrows of the night prayers. There is no doubt that we will meet with victory when we shall offer our night prayers. We are the servants of the Promised Messiah (as) who has been given the promise of companionship of God Almighty. Thus we will offer our supplications, then God will manifest special Divine favours. Prayer is the only tool for the pure-hearted, there is nothing that compares to it or comes close to it. The Promised Messiah (as) was Divinely appointed to invite the masses towards God, and the promises granted to him in order to fulfil this goal shall be fulfilled. We should not doubt even for a second anything contrary to this. Enemy has surfaced its ugly head since the time of the Promised Messiah (as) throughout the past hundred years; however, the head of the enemy was crushed and defeated each time.

We as individuals should not stand stagnant in our spiritual progress because of these victories. We must forever remain concerned about whether we are fulfilling our roles and duties and responsibility so that we continue to receive Divine succour and favours and blessings. We should continue these prayers individually as well as in congregation. May Allah Almighty accept our humble prayers, and send His angels to set in motion the paths that lead to the destruction of the enemy. God states in the Holy Quran:

“He therefore prayed to his Lord saying, ‘I am overcome, so come Thou to my help!’” (54:11)

Thus, cry in your prayers, shed your tears before The Lord, to re-instate the glory of Islam, and topple the rule which has made this land difficult for us to live in, and make the same land a lush green garden where peace can be established and faith can be practiced. May Allah Almighty have mercy on us all, Ameen.

Huzur (aba) then announced the sad news of the martyrdom of Master Dilawar Hussain in Sheikhupura on 3 October 2011. He was a new convert to Jamaat, and leaves behind 2 sons and 2 daughters. He was a righteous man, interested in scholarly research. He was regular in offering prayer, recitation of Quran tilawat, was dedicated to Khilafat, watched MTA regularly and encouraged his children to do the same. His relatives abandoned him after he along with his family accepted Ahmadiyyat last year in December. He was shot twice as the assailants entered the classroom where he was teaching, and he breathed his last on the way to the hospital. May Allah Almighty elevate his status in Paradise and grant patience to the family members he leaves behind, Ameen.

Abdul Jabbar Sahib of Rabwah also passed away on 4 October, who had been ill for some time now. He was 69 years old and a long-serving member of the community in Fazl-e-Umar hospital. May Allah Almighty grant him a lofty station in Paradise, Ameen.

Nasir Ahmad Muzaffar Sahib also passed away. He was a public servant and a social worker. He has many services for Jamaat to his credit. May Allah Almighty grant him a lofty station in Paradise, and grant his family members patience to bear this loss. Ameen.

The funeral prayers in abstentia would be offered after Jumma prayers.