Today Hudhur inaugurated a new mosque ‘Baitul Wahid’ in Feltham [near London] and delivered his Friday sermon from there. Hudhur recited the following verses at the start of his sermon:
‘And all places of worship belong to Allah; so call not on any one beside Allah.’ (72:19)
‘Say, ‘My Lord has enjoined justice. And fix your attention aright at every time and place of worship, and call upon Him, making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion. As He brought you into being, so shall you return.’ (7:30)
Hudhur said Alhamdolillah today we are enabled to inaugurate a mosque in the area of Feltham. Feltham is near Hounslow and Hudhur gleaned from what the regional Ameer sahib said that the mosque will serve as the central mosque of the entire area. Here people will come for Friday Prayer and Salat which is the purpose of a mosque. May God enable the Jama’at to build a mosque in every area here so that the wish and instruction of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is fulfilled in making our mosques a source of introduction of Islam and the Jama’at and new avenues of Tabligh are opened and the world comes to know the real teaching of Islam. Hudhur said today it is only the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community which can present true Islam to the world. Building of mosques is also important for us because Hadhrat ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) related that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) directed that mosques should be built in tribes or neighbourhoods or places of residence. Hudhur said at that time neighbourhoods used to be populated in tribal fashion, just as even in the current times when they are away from their homeland people of some nations like to live in one locality, like Chinese people make China towns wherever they go. This Hadith indicates that a mosque should be built in every locality and it should be kept clean and pure. Mosques hold great significance especially for Ahmadis so that a clean and pure place is organised to respond to the profusion of misunderstanding against Islam by presenting the beautiful teaching of Islam. Hudhur said the Jama’at has centres in the nearby areas of Southall and Hounslow where people gather for Salat and where other events are held and guests are invited. However, by building a mosque new avenues are opened. The Jama’at in Hayes has also built a mosque which will be inaugurated next week.
Hudhur said the mosque from where the sermon was being delivered is not a purpose built mosque. It has been converted from an office block whereas in Hayes a community centre building has been converted to a mosque. May God make these mosques a source of spreading the teaching of Islam as well as a source of enhancing our faith. Hudhur said enhancement of faith is associated with mosques.
Hudhur said the first verse he recited at the start of the sermon illustrates the significance of mosques. God states that a mosque is a place which is purely for the sake of God and whoever comes to a mosque should come as a servant of God. There should be no mention of kufr (disbelief), shirk (associating partners with God) in a mosque, in fact no worldly matters should be discussed in a mosque. This is the reason why the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) forbade from discussing trade and business in mosques, in fact he even forbade announcing any lost property in a mosque. However, once Prayer is over one may discuss plans to spread God’s message in the world and to bring the world close to God, prepare oneself to put this in practice, give suggestions for the betterment of mankind and offer one’s services for it. Hudhur said the first verse also explains that any person belonging to any religion or no religion can come to a mosque. As such, Hudhur said we hold programmes which are attended by all kinds of people. However, the commandment that mosques are for worship of God should be always kept in view. If anyone wishes to worship solely God they may do so in our mosques, however idol worship will have to be done outside. Shirk has no place in a mosque. In this verse God states that if you wish to come to My house for worship, then worship Me and Me alone. The verse also elucidates that God is One and after the advent of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) it became all the more lucid that God had willed that His Oneself was to spread in the world through the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) and mosques were the source of this.
Those who claim to believe in the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and we who claim to have joined the Community of his true and ardent devotee in order to fulfil his objective should come to mosques with sincerity to worship God so that a living connection is formed with Him. Moreover, we should try to become sources of spreading the light of the truth in the world. If we are to spread the light of the truth in the world then apparent worship of God will not suffice, in fact we have to first enlighten ourselves with this light.
The second verse recited at the start of the sermon, which is from Surah Al Ar’af first gives the commandment of justice and while it was directed at the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), it is also applicable on every true believer who claims to have faith in him. The first commandment here entails to practice absolute justice and be free of any discriminatory stance and abide by Taqwa. This leads to sincere and focussed worship of God and makes one pure of heart. Those who do not follow this neither pay the dues owed to God, nor the dues owed to mankind. If they act fairly in one matter, they are not just in another matter. It is Taqwa that establishes justice and enables one to be fully inclined to God and it is Taqwa alone that leads one to fulfil the dues of worship of God. God states that when you go to the mosque for His worship and have things on your mind, once the call for Salat is made, all your thoughts should be focussed towards being a true servant of God. Otherwise it is pointless to go to the mosque for Salat. Fear of God and Taqwa also leads one to pay the dues owed to mankind.
God states: As He brought you into being, so shall you return. Hudhur explained that man should remember that it is the deeds of this world which will translate in reward and punishment in the Hereafter. God states that there are different stages after death from which the soul passes. For better growth of the soul one should be concerned about the practices in this life and sincere worship enables one to do this. One should be fully aware that he or she is standing before God during worship and it is worship alone that brings God’s grace.
In answering a question as to how one should stand before God in Prayer, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the main thing is that it is written the Qur’an ‘… making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion…’. One should deeply ponder over God’s favours. This should be done with sincerity and grace and one should be inclined to Him with the awareness that He alone is the Lord and Real Maker. The essence of the principle of worship is that one should stand before God as if one can see him or that God is watching over. One should be free of every kind of adulteration and every kind of shirk and be only mindful of God’s greatness and His Rabubiyyat. One should make a lot of general prayers and engage in a lot of repentance and Istighfar (seek forgiveness of God) and repeatedly express one’s weakness so that the self is purified and a true connection with God is created and one is absorbed in His love.
Hudhur said this is the condition that a true believer should try and emulate and mosque is the best source for this. Hudhur said it should always be remembered that after building the mosque our responsibility has increased and we have to pay greater attention now otherwise we will not be among those act on: ‘…making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion…’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that time has come when hypocrisy, selfishness, arrogance, pride and other base practices have advanced and good practices like ‘…making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion…’ have left the earth and reliance in God and other such matters are invalidated. He added that God has now willed that the seed of these good practices is sown. Hudhur explained that God has willed to implement this by sending the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). When we make the claims that we do, we have to detach ourselves from worldliness and be sincere, then alone will we be fulfilling the purpose of building this mosque. Hudhur said the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) words that God has willed to sow the seeds are not mere words. This ‘sowing of seed’ which took place 123 years ago generated revolutionary changes in people and created hundreds of thousands of righteous servants of God and continues to do so today. Newcomers to the Community are joining with the purpose and objective of attaining high ideals.
Hudhur said a large majority of those who sat in front of him in the congregation was of those whose fathers and grandfathers became Ahmadi. They understood the will of God and took the Bai’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). They paid the dues of God and dues of mankind. It is now the obligation of their next generation to not only maintain a true connection with God, but to enhance it. Hudhur said this alone will distinguish us from others. The difference between us and the others will be evident when each act of ours will be for God, when we will only call on Him with sincerity of faith, when during Salat our attention will not be on our businesses, employment and other worldly matters. Hudhur prayed that may we act upon the commandment of God in order to attain His pleasure, may we enhance in piety and progress in Taqwa and may we engage in Jihad against sin.
God states in the Qur’an:
And let not the enmity of a people, that they hindered you from the Sacred Mosque, incite you to transgress. And help one another in righteousness and piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; surely, Allah is severe in punishment. (5:3)
Explaining, Hudhur said today one objection on Islam is that it is an extremist religion and God forbid, it was spread with the use of force. It is said that Islam used force against every opposing religion. The above verse refutes this objection. It purports that those who seek God’s pleasure may not even transgress against their enemy. A true believer who seeks God’s pleasure is ever ready to cooperate with his or her own people and outsiders in matter of piety and Taqwa and is ever averse to matters of sin and transgression and is never ready to cooperate in them. Such acts are tantamount to wasting one’s worship of God. Salat that impedes virtuous acts and is helpful in transgression and is devoid of Taqwa is simply Salat of pretence and has no significance in God’s sight. God states about those whose Salat is of this kind: ‘So woe to those who pray,’ (107:5)
Hudhur said none among us, who have renewed our pledge of faith, is expected to come to the mosque for worship of God and then get embroiled in sin and oppression. Hudhur said a new mosque promotes Tabligh but it can also rouse opposition. Opposition from Muslims is borne of their religious leaders presenting a wrong representation of Ahmadiyyat. It is said that God forbid, Ahmadis attack the finality of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Our perception and insight into the finality of Prophethood is greater than anyone else and we have learned it from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The local non-Muslims are also concerned due to the wrong representation of Islam and can resort to unfair means, while some are simply racist. We are targeted from every direction. Two nights ago wrongful words were written on the wall of the mosque and paint was thrown due to the stance non-Muslims have about Islam. We have to remove the doubts of all kinds of people and this will only be possible when our worship will be purely and sincerely for God. The beauty of our Community is in excelling each other in piety and Taqwa, we should hone our mutual connections for the sake of seeking God’s pleasure in such a way that they appear exemplary to everyone. Another aspect of coming to the mosque for congregational Prayer is that it develops mutual love and removes rancour.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that it should be routine to help and strengthen brothers who are weak. How inappropriate it is that if there are two brothers and one of them knows how to swim and the other does not, is the first one not obligated to save the other from drowning or should he let him drown? Indeed, it is his duty to save his brother from drowning. This is why the Qur’an states to help your weak brothers and be their helper in practical, spiritual and financial weaknesses as well as treat their physical ailments. A community cannot be a community unless the strong support the weak. The way to address this is to cover their faults. The Companions were also taught not to be irritated by the weaknesses of the new Muslims because they too were once weak. Similarly, it is important that one who is in position serves one who is not and treats him with love and kindness.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that a community cannot be a community that usurps each other. Where a few sit together and complain about their disadvantaged brother and criticise him and look down on the weak with contempt and hatred. This should never be, rather there should be strength in unanimity and unity should be created which generates love and derives blessings. Why are moral strengths not extended? This comes to pass when sympathy, love, forgiveness and kindness are made common and sympathy and covering other’s fault is given precedence over other practices. Criticism should not be levied on trivial matters which can cause grief and hurt. A community is created when some are sympathetic to others and faults are covered. When this condition is achieved then people become as one and consider each other more than real brothers. God reminded the Companions of this mode and blessing. Even if they had spent mountains of gold they would not have found the unity that they found through the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). God has established this movement on the same mode and will establish similar unity here.
Hudhur said the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came in this world to bring about such a revolution and to re-establish Taqwa. Our happiness is not in mere building of mosques, rather it is in following the practice of ‘…making yourselves sincere towards Him in religion…’. Hudhur said in the materialistic world of today attaining such standards is certainly drawing God’s grace. Today the real message of Islam is reaching the ends of the earth through the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and non-Muslims are becoming servants of the Gracious God and other Muslims are forgoing bad practices in religion and are acknowledging true Islam. Hudhur received a letter from an Uzbek Ahmadi a couple of days ago in which he expressed how his world has transformed after accepting Ahmadiyyat. He wrote that he discovered that facts about the practice of reading Qur’an at the death of a person and the matter of death of Jesus (on whom be peace) by reading Ahmadi books. He felt that the more he read the more enlightened his heart became and he felt strengthened and he realised how far off the general Muslims have gone from the true teachings of Islam. He wrote that he is grateful that he is rid of the bad innovations in religion which he sees others around him embroiled in. He wrote that he and his family accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and request prayers that there are Islamic religious leaders and doctors in his next generation. Hudhur said our missionary sahib has written about this new Ahmadi that he was very opposed to us but he happened to visit the 2008 Jalsa Salana which influenced him so much that he took Bai’at. He has progressed so much in the short time that by virtue of his love for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) he has developed ardent love for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He has read the Uzbek translation of ‘Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’ twice and is currently reading it for the third time. Hudhur prayed that may that time come soon when there is a profusion of people like him in fulfilment of the revelation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) regarding grains of sand. Hudhur said this is an area where there is no mosque and where total freedom for Tabligh is not allowed. Yet, in fulfilment of the prayer of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) people are being introduced to Ahmadiyyat. Hudhur said those of us who live in the West and have religious freedom should pray for these Russian states that may God remove their restrictions and constraints and may they be able to build mosques.
Hudhur said the West gives freedom of religion but it also give rights to others, like the council or the neighbours, to protest and cause restrictions in any building project. The local council had protested about our mosque and created restrictions and our planning permission was cancelled. However, God listened to the prayers of the local Ahmadis and the court decided in our favour and council had to pay costs of the court case. We should be grateful to the court and should be extremely grateful to God and fulfil the dues of this mosque by becoming true servants of God and regularly come for five daily Prayers.
Hudhur related a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that angels continue to pray for a person until he or she stays in the place where he or she has offered Salat. They pray, O Allah forgive him for he offered Salat, O Allah, have mercy on him. Hudhur said how fortunate are those for whom angels pray! Along with the prayers of angels the prayers made by such people themselves, draw God’s grace. What more could one want who has God’s forgiveness and mercy? May God include us in those who gain His forgiveness and mercy.
Giving facts and figures Hudhur said the total expenditure of the mosque was £ 900,000 and with the grace of God both the Jama’ats of Hounslow met most of the cost. Other Jama’ats in the region may have also contributed. The number of chanda paying members is only 200, if the region is include it could be 400 at the most. In any case it was a great sacrifice that they have made, may God accept their sacrifice. In particular six persons made substantial sacrifices, one of them contributed more than £100,000 while others contributed between £20,000 and £50,000. May God bless them abundantly. Hudhur said he would like to once again remind that the due of a mosque is not met by contributing thousands of pounds. The real objective is achieved by populating it and populating it purely for the sake of God and His worship should so influence that after leaving the mosque the dues of mankind are also met and piety and Taqwa are enhanced. May God so enable. In the end Hudhur asked for prayers for Jama’at in India where our opponents are trying to take over our mosque in Hyderabad Deccan and the government appears to be influenced by them. May God protect us from their evil.