Friday Sermon: Holy Quran, The source of guidance and salvation

December 16th, 2011

Hudhur said MashaAllah our children generally finish their first reading of the Holy Qur’an at a very young age. Mothers who are more concerned for their children to finish their Qur’an early work very hard at it. Here as well as in other countries during Hudhur’s trips children and parents are most eager to have Ameen ceremony conducted in Hudhur’s presence. However, it is noticed that not so much concern and effort is put in repeat and constant reading of the Qur’an once its first reading is completed. When Hudhur asks about regular recitation of the Qur’an, Hudhur usually gets the response that reading is not done on a regular basis. Mothers and fathers should inculcate children to read the Qur’an regularly with due care and supervision. The parents’ concerns should not be limited to finishing the first reading of the Qur’an, rather children should be continually supervised to read it regularly. Certainly it is very important to conclude the first reading of the Qur’an and some mothers achieve this with four or five year olds. No doubt, it is a very demanding task, but its continuous reading is even more important.

Recently a lady wrote to Hudhur and mentioning Hudhur’s mother, she said that that one thing she was most grateful to Hudhur’s mother was that once she took her child to Hudhur’s mother and very proudly told her that she had managed to make the child finish the first reading of the Qur’an at the age of six. Hudhur’s mother replied that finishing first reading of the Qur’an at the age of six was not such an achievement and asked how much love of the Qur’an had the mother inculcated in her child? Hudhur said fact is that it is very important to instil love of the Qur’an in children’s hearts, especially in the times that we live in where there are many other interests for children, like the television, internet and other books. Early morning recitation of Qur’an would make children aware of its significance. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had drawn our attention that in a world with diverse interests, where new sciences are introduced, the significance of the Qur’an increases.

Hudhur said love of Qur’an will be instilled in the hearts of children when parents will inculcate its recitation and pondering over its meanings in them, when the Qur’an will be recited in the morning in every home. These days the time of [Fajr] Salat is late and those who go out to work can recite the Qur’an before Salat. This will fill a home with blessings and will have a very virtuous influence on children. Each one us can observe that regular recitation of the Qur’an while reflecting on it will generate love for the sake of God between husband and wife and this in turn will make their children useful members of the Community. Hudhur said Ahmadis should make their full efforts in this regard. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) made great efforts to promote this. It was indeed the purpose of his advent to give the Qur’an the highest status. Honour of Qur’an should not be limited to, as it is by non-Ahmadis, being wrapped in beautiful cloth, placed on a beautiful shelf or in a box. Real love of the Qur’an is to make one’s full effort to obey its commandments, to avoid what the Qur’an forbids and to employ one’s full capacity and capability to fulfil what it commands. Its recitation should be done with fear of God.

Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has extensively written about the significance of the Qur’an in his books, spoken about it in assembles, and explained the expectations he had from those who entered his Bai’at. Hudhur said we should try and read the Qur’an with translation. Translation of the Qur’an should be mentioned to children and brief descriptions from it explained to them to instil eagerness in them. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that it is important to read and understand the translation of the Qur’an and Salat, however he said: ‘We certainly do not allow that only the translation of the Qur’an is read. This negates the miracle of the Qur’an. One who suggests this, wishes the Qur’an not to remain in the world.’ Hudhur said it is indeed a great miracle of the Qur’an that it’s text remains intact to this day as it is God’s promise: Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’ (15:10). Even the worst opponents of Islam agree that it is preserved in its original form. If reliance on translations was started these are so diverse! When our translation is presented to the world they remark that it is different from others who have not translated the Qur’an correctly. A priest from USA who is a prominent detractor of Islam obtained various translations of the Qur’an as well as the Arabic text, and raised objections about what the Qur’an states. When we sent him our Quranic commentary he did not respond and after much chasing said that the translations he referred to were also done by Muslims. It is by virtue of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that we are closer still to the Arabic text of the Qur’an in our translations.

Hudhur added incidentally that recently one of our detractors said that if the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was a Prophet why did he ask his Community to follow Imam Abu Hanifah. Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) certainly did not say anywhere that Imam Hanifah should be followed but with reference to the Holy Qur’an once it was mentioned in an assembly of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that according to Hanafi creed only reading the translation of the Qur’an was essential. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) replied, ‘if this was the creed of the great Imam, it was his mistake.’ Hudhur said God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) as a source of real safeguard of the Qur’an in this age and he advised his Community to understand the Qur’an and to love it in numerous places. He said: ‘The Holy Qur’an is law of the heavens and is a source of salvation.’ Hudhur said we also observe in terms of worldly laws that unless they are enforced they are of no use. Thus salvation cannot be attained merely by reading the Qur’an and not practising it and one cannot be the recipient of its blessing and grace. Therefore it is extremely important to understand and practice the teachings of the Qur’an.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: ‘Remember the Holy Qur’an is a fountainhead of real blessings and a source of salvation. Those who do not practice on the Qur’an, it is their own fault. One group among those who do not practice upon it is that which does not have faith in it; they do not consider it to be Word of God. These people remain very remote. However, how regrettable and astonishing it is if those who believe that it is Word of God and is a healing formula of salvation do not practice on it. Many among them have not even read it in their entire lives. Thus, the example of people who are negligent and careless about Word of God is like a person who knows that such and such spring is extremely pure and sweet and fresh and its water is an elixir and heals many ailments, he has certain knowledge of this yet, in spite of this knowledge and in spite of being thirsty and embroiled in many ailments he does not go near it. How unfortunate and ignorant of him. He should have drunk from this spring and having satiated from its delicious and healing water cherished it. Yet, in spite of being aware of this he is as distant from it as an unaware person.’

Hudhur said may God through these moving words of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) enable us to practice the teachings of the Qur’an and to understand it. Then alone would we be fulfilling the dues of our Bai’at. The teaching of course is to avoid every vice that the Qur’an mentions and make a complete effort to adopt every virtue that it cites.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said: ‘The Holy Qur’an does not simply require that having given up evil, man should assume he has attained excellence. Rather, it wants to define man with supreme excellences and high morals and that his actions and deeds involve sympathy and welfare of mankind. The consequence of which should be that Allah the Exalted is pleased with him.’

Hudhur said if a believer truly loves the Qur’an, he tries to attain such a standard himself and would also try and take his children to it. There is no distinction in avoiding evil and such should not be our aim. We should keep our targets high. Effort to adopt every virtue mentioned in the Qur’an would create a pure society which Islam wants to establish and would also silence those who raise objections at Islam day in and day out. Here, two women are renowned to raise excessive objections against Islamic laws in their lectures. Through the efforts of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK a debate was held with them at UCL (University College London). The debate was organised by the university. The two ladies, as is their way, presented excessive objections against Islam at the debate. Two of our Khuddam, a student of Jamia who is of Pakistani origin and the other a new convert of English origin responded to them in a positive and reasoned way in light of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an which is the true teaching of Islam. It is understood that this left them indignant and even their supporters expressed regret at their excessive objections. Thus the teachings of Islam were triumphant through young Ahmadi men. We should try and understand the teachings of the Qur’an and Islam. This would make our homes paradisiacal and will enable us to fulfil our dues of Tabligh in society.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Holy Qur’an should be read with care, concentration and interest. Hadith relates that there are many reciters of the Holy Qur’an who are cursed by the Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an curses the person who reads the Qur’an but does not practice on it. When one comes across a verse denoting blessing while reciting the Qur’an, blessing should be sought from Allah the Exalted at the juncture. Where torment on people is mentioned, entreaty should be made to God for His refuge from His torment and it should be read with care and concentration and it should be acted on.’

Hudhur also read out an extract of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) writing mentioning those who say that the Holy Qur’an is difficult to understand. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained that the manner in which the Qur’an has elucidated matters of faith is matchless in its eloquence and its reasoning influences hearts. So powerful is its eloquence that it was understood by the nomads of Arabia who were completely illiterate. How could people of the current age then not understand it? Hudhur said it is a favour of God on us to send the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who not only explained the apparent commandments to us but also unravelled the deeper truths and insights of the Qur’an for us and thus gave us the beneficence of: And among others from among them who have not yet joined them…’ (62:4). We should try and accumulate the treasures that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave us.

Hudhur said there are many very good reciters of the Holy Qur’an outside our Community who are renowned, but there are also those among them who do not even know the meanings of the Qur’an as is the case with some of the religious leaders. This is the reason why the abrogation theory has existed among them for so long. Even now they do not understand certain verses, including those about death of Jesus (on whom be peace). An Hadith relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that a time will come when there will be reciters of the Qur’an who will boast that there is no bigger reciter than them and there is no bigger scholar than them. He asked his Companions if they found anything good in this. They replied that they did not. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said: ‘These people will be from you and from this Ummah, but they will be the fuel of the fire of Hell.’

Hudhur said attaining God’s nearness and avoiding His wrath as the cautionary Hadith depicts, is in understanding the teaching of the Qur’an with humility and to love it rather than make a profession out of it.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote in his book Kashti Nuh: ‘Be alert all the time and do not take a single step contrary to Divine teaching and the guidance of the Qur’an. I tell you truly that anyone who evades the least one of the 700 commandments of the Qur’an, shuts upon himself the door of salvation. The ways of true and perfect salvation have been opened by the Qur’an and all the rest is its reflection. Therefore, study the Qur’an with care and hold it very dear with a love that you have not for anything else. As God has said to me: ‘All good is contained in the Qur’an.’ This is wholly true. Those people are to be pitied who prefer anything else to it. The fountainhead of all your prosperity and salvation is the Holy Qur’an. There is no religious need of yours which is not filled by the Qur’an. On the Day of Judgement, the Qur’an will confirm or deny your faith. There is no other book under heaven beside the Qur’an which can furnish you with salvation. God has been very Beneficent towards you that He has bestowed a Book like the Qur’an upon you. I tell you truly that if the Book that is recited to you had been recited to the Christians, they would not have perished. If this bounty of guidance which has been bestowed upon you had been bestowed upon the Jews in place of the Torah, some of their sects would not have denied the Day of Judgement. Then value this favour that has been bestowed upon you. It is a very dear favour; it is great wealth. If the Qur’an had not been revealed the whole world would have been left like a dirty lump of flesh. The Qur’an is the Book in contrast with which all other guidance amounts to nothing.’ [Essence of Islam, Vol. I, pp. 400 – 401 Kashti Nuh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 19, pp. 26-27]

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that it was important not to disregard the Holy Qur’an and to uphold its distinction over Hadith and other works. He said now there was no other Prophet or intercessor on the earth save the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and no Book save the Holy Qur’an. Thus, he enjoined to love the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) so that salvation is attained. He also said that it should be remembered that salvation is not something which will manifest after death; rather, true salvation is that which shows its light in this very life. Salvation is given to one who believes that God is Truth and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is an intercessor between God and the rest of the creation. God willed for this esteemed Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to have eternal life and in order to facilitate this God made his beneficence continue till the Day of Judgement and ultimately through his spiritual beneficence the Promised Messiah was sent to this world. His coming was essential for the completion of the structure of Islam. It was certain for the Muhammadan Dispensation to have a Messiah in the spiritual style of the Mosaic Dispensation and the verses ‘Guide us in the right path – the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings…’ (1: 6 – 7) indicate towards this.

Hudhur prayed that may we, our offspring and our future generations till the Day of Judgement - who will accept the Muhammadan Messiah - have true love for the Holy Qur’an and practice its teachings and each moment attain the blessings of its beneficence.