Friday Sermon: Fulfill your obligations to mankind

June 1st, 2012

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave his Friday sermon at the occasion of Jalsa Salana Germany.

In light of last year’s shortcomings at the larger Jalsa venue, the management has made improvements this year. The sound system did not work very well last year and it will be seen how much that has improved. Last year was the first Jalsa at this particular venue so obviously shortcomings that spring up in new locations emerged. This was not something for which the management ought to have been criticised as they took note and have tried to improve. They have also tried to keep the costs down in areas where they exceeded last year. However, there is still room for improvement. Progressive people always look for ways to improve, either from their own experiences or from those of others and try and practice all good advice. Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) enjoined that good word of wisdom is the lost property of a believer. During his last year’s trip to Germany Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had quoted this very Hadith to the mayor of Berlin, who responded that if this was our teaching then we would win over the world soon or words to that effect.

If we are progressive people, which indeed we are, then we should not shut our eyes to our shortcomings. Our efforts to reform should not be simply from a worldly perspective. We claim to have accepted the Imam of the age who was the greatest and most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) on the face of this earth. Who had come to draw attention to the rights of God and the rights of mankind. This demands of us that we should view everything with Taqwa and fulfil every obligation with fear and humility and try and remove all our drawbacks with this in view. This does not signify simply the weaknesses of the management, rather it also signifies individual weaknesses. If all men and women keep this lofty viewpoint and the management will also be heedful of this, in other words, work with Taqwa, everyone will reap benefit.

It should always be remembered that in expounding the objectives of Jalsa, while the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) spoke of worship, Tabligh, Taqwa and many other aspects, he specifically mentioned paying the dues of people, in particular compassion for mankind. If genuine sympathy for mankind is generated, the fulfilment of dues of people is accomplished. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) drew attention to worship, devotion to God and Taqwa and along with this and with similar intensity, he drew attention to gentleness, brotherhood, humility and meekness. Taqwa is not attained by only performing worship, by serving the Jama’at, by loving God and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and obedience to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Khilafat. Taqwa is perfected when the rights of parents, wives, husbands, children, friends and relatives are paid, when the rights of members of the Jama’at are paid, in fact when the rights of the enemy are paid. We come to the Jalsa for spiritual development and while we keep worship and remembrance of God in view here we should also pay attention to mutual love and friendship and sympathy.

People gather at Jalsa and one finds one’s friends and family at Jalsa. One also suitably appreciates the academic speeches at Jalsa. However, the true objective of Jalsa is not attained unless one has sympathetic and considerate stance towards one’s fellow brothers. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once postponed the annual Jalsa because it came to his knowledge that having taken Bai’at and joined the Jama’at, some people still harboured slanted views and mistreated their disadvantaged brothers and were disparaging towards them. He said it astonished him to see how much deep selfishness had affected such people. He said that one’s faith is not right unless one gave preference to the comfort of one’s brother over one’s own comfort.

It deeply aggrieved the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to note that mutual love was missing from some people of his Community. As an indication of his sadness and as a punishment, he postponed the Jalsa. Some people assume that the Jalsa was postponed due to lack of resources whereas in fact it was the arrogance of a few which had deeply pained the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Lack of mutual respect and sympathy is not a trivial matter; if an Ahmadi does this he or she should remember what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) felt about it.

One should not feel any sense of pride about one’s worship, or holding a Jama’at office or making financial sacrifice unless one has humility and genuine sympathy with one’s brothers. This is what true Taqwa entails and one who follows true Taqwa does not feel any sense of pride over any piety. Rather it increases him or her in humility and fear of God. After performing every good act he or she is concerned whether or not what they did will gain acceptance with God. This indeed is what the Promised Messiah (on whom be pace) came to inculcate. He included sympathy for others in his conditions of Bai’at. The fourth condition reads:

‘That under the impulse of any passions, he/she shall cause no harm whatsoever to the creatures of God in general and Muslims in particular, neither by his/her tongue, hands, nor any other means.’

It is therefore important that it is not only Ahmadi Muslims who are safe from an Ahmadi Muslim but also every Muslim and all creation of God. Many people do not habitually hurt others, they are free of this bad habit, but they should not think they have attained high status of piety. A believer is forever marching onwards. This is why the ninth condition of Bai’at as stated by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) reads:

‘That he/she shall keep himself/herself occupied in the service of God’s creatures for His sake only and shall endeavour towards the beneficence of mankind to the best of his/her God-given abilities and powers.’

Among God’s creation the greatest is mankind, most eminent of all creation but man becomes a true human being when he tries to be advantageous to others. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih has drawn attention before that he always puts it to outsiders that it is an excellence of Islam that while worldly systems demand rights and when these rights are not met, force is used, Islam teaches to pay the dues of each other. Worldly systems demand rights and often through unwarrantable ways but God states pay the dues of others not only when demanded, rather with justice and borne out of the milk of human kindness. If each Ahmadi develops this fervour there would no question of any problems arising within the Community whereby the Khalifa of the time goes through hundreds of letters about such matters. His time would be better spent in constructive matters. When the problem cases are presented to the Khalifa of the time, he has to weigh many aspects, like better administration as well as reformation. There are some cases where people do not abide by the rules, do not heed the advice that is given to them. They have to be firmly responded to. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih replies to them that if they are not prepared to accept the decision of the Jama’at, they should be prepared for corresponding action. At times people have to be disciplined but the sentiment of sympathy also compels to pray for these people.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated in his condition of Bai’at that one will ‘not cause any harm’. This connotes that at times pain is caused but it due to a warrantable reason and is not inflicted on someone with intent. In addition, the administration of the Jama’at or the Khalifa of the time needs to take steps at times which cause pain to others, however this pain is caused with the objective of reformation and is thus not unwarrantable. Even in such a situation one should always pray for one who goes through the pain and Khalifa of the time has to experience this more than anyone else lest his action does not unnecessarily disrupt the peace of a family. Not only this, the method applied should be such that it promotes reformation. It is a requisite of fairness and sympathy that Khalifa of the time has to meet and he meets it with the resources available.

Office-holders of the Jama’at also need to work with this spirit, otherwise they would be betraying the trusts given to them and will certainly be accountable before God for it. Office of Jama’at is not like worldly position, rather it requires application of greater sympathy and support for people. Such a spirit of sympathy should be generated in every office-holder. They will fulfil the due of their service only if they present themselves as role-models. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that the leader of a nation is in fact its servant and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that to be in service of the nation is a sign of being one who is served. Reading and listening to Hadith is only beneficial if full effort is made to practice it. An office-holder has to keep his or her character very high and not let the sentiment of sympathy dissipate.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that repressing anger was the height of valour and the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that a champion is one who controls his temper at time of anger. Indeed, one can only be just and fair if one can control one’s temper. This is a standard that all our office-holders should adopt. Just because Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave the sermon in Germany does not signify that he was only addressing the German Jama’at. He clarified that he was addressing Ahmadis all over the world and said that he was making this clarification because some people assume that only the people present during a sermon are addressed in his sermons whereas he addresses people all over the world. MTA now provides this opportunity for the Khalifa of the time. However, it is the privilege of the country who directly listens to the advice given and should consider themselves as the primary addressees.

The aforementioned conditions of Bai’at were addressed to every single Ahmadi, every Ahmadi who considers him or herself to be associated to the administration of the Jama’at. Office-holders were mentioned because they have to present role-models. In the fourth condition of Bai’at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated that no harm should be inflicted neither by tongue, hands, nor any other means and this can only be attained through Taqwa.

Jealousy is at the root of all the suppression of rights in the world today, where Muslim is killing Muslim and barbarity is rampant. We are fortunate that we have accepted the Imam of the age, but we too experience these injustices on a smaller scale in our homes. If we analyse the situation fairly, we will see that it is quite evidently so. There are grievances between brothers borne out of jealousy; women have grievances with other women borne out of jealousy. There is also grievance if someone is given the chance to serve the Jama’at. If one has faith that this is a divine community, then one should engage in Istaghfar (seek forgiveness). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that one who wishes for an office should not be given one. A Jama’at office is a trust and if one has Taqwa one should always be fearful of accountability. God is Knower of the unseen, He is All-Knowing All-Aware and nothing is hidden from Him. If those who hold office and those who wish to hold office remember this they will be stepping towards Taqwa. At times, plans are made how to inflict pain on someone, how he or she can be disgraced in front of the administration of the Jama’at or the Khalifa of the time. On one end of the spectrum is the pledge of Bai’at not to harm any creature and on the other end are such practices. Truth is such cases do come up and are a source of extreme embarrassment. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih tells the world that our Jama’at is that Community which guides in upholding rights of others and the advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took place to establish Taqwa, but such are the practices of some of us. If we are to become a source of revolutionary change in the world, we have to first bring about a revolutionary change in our lives.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) enjoined not to spoil a trade deal of another by offering more money. This does not only mean to raise the stakes in a business deal with one’s larger resources, rather this advice carries extensive scope. Sometimes in on-going matrimonial matches another party interferes. If a matrimonial match is on-going no one should interfere. The proposal that comes first should be considered by the family with prayers. They should not even think about any subsequent proposal until such time that they have considered the first one. In certain situations a girls receives a proposal but a third party with grievance contacts the boy’s side and furnishes information to them about such and such defect in the girl. They then go on to suggest a ‘better match’ which never materialises but meanwhile the situation is spoiled. Ploys are used to disgrace the girl and her family and thus the poor girl is discredited and all this wickedness is borne of jealousy. Rather than obey the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to fill their hearts with Taqwa and as the Qur’an states: ‘Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model…’(33:22)

Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that a believer is one from whom everyone is safe. And his own blessed model was such that his trait of love and affection was supreme. In fact there was no moral quality in which he had not reached the most excellent stage. Today we have gathered to bring about pure changes in ourselves, thus there is a great need to pay heed to the teachings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Such was the degree of his humility that he used to pray: ‘O my Allah, I seek Your refuge from bad morals, bad practices and bad wishes.’ His was a perfect model yet he prayed in this way. Conversely, how much do we need to self-reflect and feel embarrassed at what we do. Our Dear God and our dear Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) have unfolded to us how to live our lives. Fortunate are those who are ever trying to please God and to better their ending.

Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih read a few extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidating ways and means to be compassionate to near and dear ones as well as fellow human beings. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said we need to widen our sentiments of sympathy. Days of Jalsa should be used to worship God and remember Him as well as show compassion to each other and remove mutual grievances. Efforts should be made to do this purely to please God and this cannot be achieved unless rancour is removed from hearts. Sentiments of mutual compassion promote prayer for each other and prayer for each other promotes Taqwa and thus new standards are set. The basis of the pledge of Bai’at is not a trivial matter; it is essential to bring about a revolutionary change in ourselves, it is essential to attain God’s pleasure, it is essential to spread the teaching of Islam in society. Efforts should be made to enhance these sentiments during Jalsa days. May God grant everyone the blessings of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), may our generations to come remain connected to Ahmadiyyat. May God keep everyone safe from every evil of the enemy during these days and in future. Owing to the sentiment of sympathy prayers should be made that may God save the world from the destruction that it is heading towards. Prayers should also be made for the Muslims countries that may God enable them to accept the Imam of the age. Attention should be given to Salat. At Fajr some people were asleep in the hall. Salat needs to offered even if they were unwell. Such a sight should not be seen in the hall, the Tarbiyyat department should take note of this. Everyone should also be vigilant about security and keep an eye on any possible mischief.

Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he would lead a funeral Paryer in absentia for Syedda Amtulla Begum sahiba.