The Community that God initiated through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has been given the distinction that it was joined to the early Muslims. This is not an ordinary distinction or indeed an ordinary Community. Hundreds of thousands of pious-natured people departed this world in the hope of finding this era. Each one of us who associates him or herself to the Ahmadiyya Community should reflect over these matters. The Companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took his Bai’at and by virtue of his moral training they forged a connection with God of such stature that God stated in the Qur’an:
‘And of men there is he who would sell himself to seek the pleasure of Allah...’ (2:208)
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) put their lives on the line to seek God’s pleasure and God in turn also blessed them greatly. Such was their vigour and eagerness to practice the commandments of the Qur’an that they would always ask the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) how else could they carry out virtuous acts, so much so that through a verse God stopped them from this by stating that while the Shariah was still be revealed they could put themselves in difficulty if certain commandments were to be given.
God keeps a most benevolent eye on His servants and is exceptionally Compassionate to those who are every ready to put His commandments in practice. People who abide by His commandments try and imbue Divine attributes on human level, they are kind and gentle to God’s creation. Such are the teachings of true Islam; they connect man to God and then turn man to serve mankind. This is the path that the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) followed and this is what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came to teach us. Therefore, we need to self-reflect and analyse ourselves.
Next Hudhur read out a few extracts from the noble writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which draw our attention towards self-reflection.
Elucidating the current-day situation, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the condition of the religious leaders of the time befits the Quranic statement of: ‘O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do?’ (61:3). Their belief in the Qur’an is all but in name. Ahadith had foretold of a time when the Qur’an would go to heavens and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that he was certain that the time had come. True purity and Taqwa had left the world. He said why else would God have established the Ahmadiyya mission? Our opponents do not accept this, but a day will come when they will witness that the truth of the Promised Messiah will be as clear as a bright day. He said God is Himself preparing a Community that would accept the Qur’an and every kind of contamination will be removed from the Community and a wholesome body of people will be created. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoined us to fully abide by all the commandments, lest anyone stumbles by observing us. He said when God’s blessings shower down on the earth, along with the beneficial growth weeds and toxic plants also grow. Hudhur explained that this signifies that some wrong claimants will also rise. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) further said that this Community was based on Quranic teachings and Ahadith and is supported and corroborated by heavenly and earthly Signs. He said whoever comes from God is given a seal and in this age the seal granted to him was the Muhammadan seal. Hudhur explained that in the current age, anyone coming from God has to come in subordination of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and will work under his seal alone.
Counselling his Community, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote:
‘O my Jama‘at, may God Almighty be with you. May that Mighty Benefactor prepare you for the journey to the hereafter as the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa were prepared. Bear in mind that this world is nothing. Cursed is the life which is only for this world and unfortunate is the person all whose grief and sorrow is for the world. If there is such a one in my Jama‘at, it is in vain that he considers himself to be in my Jama‘at, for he is like a dry branch that will not bear fruit. (Tadhkirat-ush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 20, p.63 – Essence of Islam, Vol. IV, pp. 277 – 278)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that according to him a fine way to purify oneself was to shun all forms of arrogance. Be it arrogance of learning, of one’s lineage or wealth. When God grants a person insight, he or she sees that all light that can rid one of these evils comes from the heavens and man is dependent on heavenly light at all times. Just as the physical eye cannot see unless there is sunlight from the heavens, similarly the inner eye/insight that removes all kind of darkness and replaces it with the light of purity and Taqwa is from the heavens. He said truly man’s Taqwa, faith, worship, purity, everything comes from the heavens and is dependent on God’s grace.
Summing up, Hudhur said everything comes from God, therefore one should ever and only turn to Him.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that true spiritual insight is in considering oneself to be completely worthless and falling down on the threshold of God and seek God’s grace and that spiritual light which burns selfish desires. Once a person gets a measure of God’s grace and at times has conviction of heart then he or she must not feel arrogant about it. Rather his or her humility and humbleness should increase. The more a person considers him or herself to be insignificant, the greater will be the lights that descend on him or her. Abiding by this creed, it is hoped that one’s moral condition becomes fine. It is arrogance to consider oneself to be someone in the world and it leads to treating others with contempt.
Hudhur said we all need to self-reflect whether we try and follow this excellent advice.
Calling on his Community, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said they should follow the teaching that has been given to him for the salvation of people. They should associate no partners with God, from the heavens or from the earth. He said God does not forbid making use of worldly means but those who leave God and only rely on worldly means are idolaters. God has always stated from the beginning that there is no salvation unless one purifies one’s heart. Thus, one should free oneself of selfish rancour and anger. There are many kinds of impurities in the self that incites to evil (Nafse Ammarah) but the worst impurity is arrogance. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said had there been no arrogance no one would have remained a disbeliever. He said: ‘Be meek of heart, in general be sympathetic to mankind when you preach to them to seek Paradise.’
Explaining, Hudhur said our religious scholars, those who summon people to God, render great services. However, at times when matters get personal, they are forgetful. At times, arrogance and egotism comes to the fore. As the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidates above, when one preaches others for them to seek Paradise, how can the preaching be right if the person who preaches wishes them ill in this world?
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) continued to say that God’s obligations should be undertaken with sincere fear or one will be held accountable. He advised to pray profusely during Salat so that God may draw to Himself and cleanse hearts. God’s help is needed to remove every single ill. The reality of Islam is that the very soul of a person falls down on God’s threshold and gives precedent to Him over everything else.
Hudhur said these days each Ahmadi needs to adopt this state so that we may draw God’s blessings.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: ‘O ye of my dear Jama'at! Believe firmly in the fact that the world is now approaching its end and a radical change has begun to appear. Do not, therefore, deceive your souls, and turn immediately to attaining perfection in piety and righteousness. Make the Holy Quran your true guide and acquire true light from it for your every need. You must not neglect the Traditions of the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, either, and must not consider these to be useless. Nay, these also are most important and were collected and compiled at the expense of very great effort and hardship. But beware when a Hadith happens to clash with the Holy Quran, disregard it totally so that you may save yourselves from going astray. God has caused the Holy Quran to reach you in its pristine purity, therefore, give the greatest importance to the Word of God and let nothing take precedence over it, because all truth and righteousness are based on it. People regard and have faith in the exhortations of men according to the measure of their piety and righteousness.’ (Tadhkirat-ush-Shahadatain, ‘Some words of advice to my Community’ – alislam.org)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enjoined that most certainly rich people who eat well and have fine clothes are not dear to God. Rather, those who give precedence to faith over worldly matters are the ones who are dear to God. He said if he observed the current state of the Community, it saddened him to see it so weak, with so many junctures for it to accomplish. Yet, he said when he reflected over the Divine promises made to him, his sadness transformed into hope. Among the promises, one is: ‘…and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection…’ (3:56)
Hudhur said if this is how the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) felt, how greater should be our concern in the present time.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said while it was true that his followers would be triumphant, but everyone who took his Bai’at could not be included in his followers, until he or she was completely and perfectly obedient to him and did not consider anything of him or herself. He said this showed that God had willed to give him a community that would dissolve itself in his obedience and would follow him completely. This gave him assurance and hope. He said it was not that he was concerned about given such a community; it was God’s promise to him that he would be given a community like that. His concern was about the undeveloped stage the Community was at the time.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that a worldly person who is included in his Community is not really from his Community in the eyes of God. Only that person is included in this Community who is free from this world. He said none should assume that the Community would be diminished due to this; such a thought took one away from God. God does not ever waste a person who becomes wholly His, rather He Himself provides for such a person. A person, who loses something in the way of God, attains its equivalent. God loves those who obey His commandments and their progeny alone is blessed. A truly obedient person of God or his progeny is never destroyed. People who leave God and are inclined to the world have their world destroyed.
Counselling his Community the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that they should be sympathetic to people without distinction, no matter which religion they belonged to for this is what the Qur’an taught: ‘And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner…’ (76:9) The Promised Messiah said that the prisoners in days of early Islam were indeed disbelievers. He said it pained him when he frequently heard that so and so did this and so and so did that. He considered the Community like a child who takes one step forwards and two steps back. But he was firm in the belief that God would perfect the Community. Therefore, he urged: ‘you too make an effort; stay engaged in planning, spiritual exercise and prayer so that Allah the Exalted blesses because nothing can be achieved without His blessings. When grace falls He opens up all ways.’
Hudhur said with God’s grace, the Community has matured in some ways but with the passage of time since the days of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) getting longer, some ills are taking root; like arrogance, selfishness. In places these are very noticeable; like mutual rancour, taking each other through the courts etc. Hudhur said if one wished to be known as a deserving part of the Community one has to be keep an eye on oneself at all times. What use is our knowledge if it is not useful at the opportune time? As the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said, at times Tabligh efforts do not correspond with the state of individuals. Only that knowledge is of any use which is reflected in one’s personality. Our knowledge is useless unless it demonstrates our internal/mutual connections as one. Today when opposition against the Community is very intense, we need to keep personal wishes in the background and present an exemplary model of unity at every level. As the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said God wants this Community to be on the model of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). May God enable us to do so.
Hudhur said following his long bout of cough during last Friday sermon many wrote him concerned, including from Arab countries. Hudhur said people sent him many remedies and Hudhur joked that if he tried them, he would perhaps feel worse. Hudhur said may God reward everyone who wrote to him. Hudhur said ailments run their course, Hudhur is treating himself with homeopathy; may God bless. Hudhur asked to be remembered in prayers.