Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih gave a discourse based on ‘Alhamdolillah’ (All praise belongs to Allah).
He said that in general when we see or mention God’s blessings and favours, majority of us say the term Alhamdolillah whether or not we have a deeper understanding of its meanings. It is said, even if as a formality, because the [Muslim] surroundings develop an awareness about it. Those who have little religious knowledge are also aware that these words need to be said as they indicate praise of God. An Ahmadi always utters the words Alhamdolillah at every occasion of happiness and blessing of God, whether it is personal happiness or communal blessing. The words have enhanced blessing when they are uttered with an understanding of their spirit.
Ahmadis are fortunate that they have recognised and accepted the Imam of the age and the Messiah and Mahdi. Due to this belief, if they focus they do not have difficulty in understanding the spirit of Alhamdolillah and other Quranic terms because, after receiving knowledge from God, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has enlightened us. He has explained the various significances of the words Alhamdolillah. In one brief explanation, he wrote:
‘Hamd is praise which is offered in appreciation of commendable action of one worthy of praise: it also means lauding one who has done a favour of his own volition and according to his own choice. The true reality of hamd is the due only of the Being Who is the source of all grace and light and exercises beneficence deliberately and not in ignorance or under compulsion. All this is found only in Allah, the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing. Indeed He is the true Benefactor and from Him proceed all benefits from beginning to end, and for Him is all glorification, in this world and in the hereafter and all praise that is bestowed on others reverts to Him.’ [Commentary on The Holy Quran, Vol. I, pp. 71 – 72 ]
This is the definition of the word Hamd and when Alhamdolillah is said in this spirit then alone is it true. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that he would speak with reference to the aforementioned extract and the matters that it draws attention to. For one, Hamd is praise of one who deserves it and Who other than God is truly worthy of praise? All praise belongs to God because He alone is most worthy. God’s blessings are more borne out of His will and less by virtue of a person’s action. He bestows out of His quality of Rahmaniyyat (quality of being Gracious), He bestows in an enhanced manner and He also enables out of His Raheemiyyat (quality of mercy) for one to do good and then brings about good results. Hamd is due to One Who confers favour in accordance to His volition and Who other than God confers favour in this manner? As such, His grace is extensive. When God’s promises combine with His choice, the blessing that comes forth is beyond the comprehension of man. In this age such blessings are with the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Worthy of Hamd is One from Whom come all beneficences and it is indeed the Being of God, Who is the Light of the heavens and the earth. Thus man should only turn to Him. Indeed a person who truly praises God exits darkness and enters light and thus a new sequence of God’s grace and blessings begins.
The Holy Qur’an states: ‘Allah is the friend of those who believe: He brings them out of every kind of darkness into light…’ (2:258) Whoever is befriended by God gains a new perception and insight of Alhamdolillah. Explaining the connotation of Hamd, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also said that it is worth remembering that God’s favours are not inadvertent or out of compulsion. Rather, He knows full well that He is conferring blessings and has stated that if man is grateful, the blessings will increase, not just in this world but also in the Hereafter. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also explained that any praise directed at others also takes one to God, indeed, it should take us to God. A true believer should have an insight into this matter. God is the Master of all power, He is the Creator of everything and bestows distinctive qualities to everything. No person and nothing else has any individual significance unless God bestows qualities that benefit others.
There are countless things in the world that have been given the quality by God to be beneficial. Each quality is given by God’s volition and through the laws of nature. Therefore, when anything or anyone other than God is of benefit to us, praise and gratitude belongs to God alone. Indeed, we are also commanded to be grateful to people. We should be grateful to people in the knowledge that God made them a source of benefit to us. Thus, in essence, it will be gratefulness to God, Lord of all the worlds. With this awareness one would never deem anyone or anything other than God as one’s Lord; or consider that one attains anything by virtue of anyone other than God. It is the dignity of a true believer that when being grateful for the favours of people he or she considers God as the font of all favours. When he or she receives kind treatment from someone he or she deems God alone as the cause, in that He put the thought to do good in a person’s heart. This is the real Hamd which the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has drawn our attention to.
With the grace of God majority of the people of the Jama’at engage in Hamd with this thought as indeed they should. Faith is enhanced with true Hamd. As a community, we should be drawn to Hamd at every progress. This increases the blessings. True Hamd brings about revolutionary spiritual change and saves from imperceptible shirk (associating partners with God). It makes a person truly devout worshipper and draws attention to adopt human values.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said that in his last Friday sermon he mentioned young people of USA and Canadian Jama’ats who are very active, in particular in networking outside the Community; networking which has brought good results. Due to their extensive links with educated people Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had the occasion to meet different people on his recent trips. Many came to our mission houses for the meetings, including important people about whom it is thought that they would not turn up. Opportunity arose to speak with policy-makers and such like and the young Ahmadis played a huge role in making this happen. However, these young people, be they of the USA Jama’at or Canada, should never consider any worldly connection as mark of their success or importance. Indeed, they have been given opportunity by God to reach out and deliver the teaching of Islam based on justice. They organised Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih to meet with these people and God enabled Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih to tell them about the wise teachings of Islam. The main thing Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih wants young people everywhere in general, and as he has just been there, in USA and Canada in particular, to do is not to credit their success to themselves. Rather, they should thank God that He gave them the opportunities. We are not to make personal benefits from these connections, our objective is for the world to have guidance. If they accept our message, good, if not, we would have done our duty. Our object is to save the world from disorder and destructive. The path on which the world is today certainly leads to destruction. If anyone thinks that successful networking is due to their own competence or that the progress of the Community is reliant on it, then they are wrong. It is God’s choice that He so grants success to us for which we make the most insignificant of effort but the results are borne out of His blessings. In truth this comes about only with God’s grace. We have nothing to gain from worldly people.
Reports [of the US and Canadian trip] would have been read in AlFazl. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had the occasion to address members of US Senate and Congress at Capitol Hill. Our opponents tried to bring notoriety to this occasion but their efforts were not entertained much. Their stance was that either Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was going to ask US government for help or God forbid was going to conspire against Pakistan. If they have any sense of fairness, they can hear [the address] for themselves whether Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had gone to give or take. Our reliance is on the Being of God, the progress of the Community is with God’s grace and not with the help of any government. As for conspiring against Pakistan, we love the homeland more than these people, who neither had any role in its creation nor in establishing it. On the contrary, they are taking it to ruin. As far as ‘taking’ is concerned, during the 2008 trip to USA by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih, only one senator had come to a reception for brief five minutes and left before the function started. He had asked Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih what he required from him. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told him that he had not come to ask for anything. Rather he was there to tell them what kind of policies to adopt to establish peace. On the recent trip, the significance of addressing an event at the Capitol Hill was no greater for Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih than the thought of expounding aspects of Islam to leaders and educated people gathered in one place with the hope that they may think of taking the right actions.
A day prior to the event at Capitol Hill CNN interviewed Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih and suggested that it was a very significant moment for him. He replied that the significance of the occasion was not that exciting for him. He told him that his USA trip was mainly aimed at meeting people of his Community and to draw attention to enhance their religious, moral and spiritual condition. The CNN correspondent said it would be shocking for US politicians that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was not giving it much significance and then joked that he would not tell the politicians. Such an event may have significance in the eyes of a worldly person but it neither has any importance for us nor should it. However, out of courtesy we definitely thank them that they listened to what we had to say. One meeting was held with some military chaplains of various denominations, also prior to the Capitol Hill event. One of them put to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih if owing to the fact that he was going to address congressmen the next day he was nervous. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih told him that he was not at all nervous because all he was going to speak about was the Qur’an and Islam and he had had occasion to deliver lectures and there was nothing to be nervous about. The person replied that he gets nervous in such situations. The reason for this is that although these people are religious leaders, for them worldliness is overriding and they are intimidated by the mention of Capitol Hill. Whereas for those who believe in the One God He alone matters. After the event one Congressman was overheard saying to another this is how openly and factually Muslim leaders should speak. God has not given this opportunity to any Muslim leader because they are more inclined to the world. Our young members should remember that we have nothing to take from these leaders rather we have to give them something and gratefulness should mainly be to God. Worldliness never works in Jama’at work. If we were to consider worldly people everything, God has the power to take back any blessing He has bestowed. Our objective is Hamd and pleasure of God; indeed, it should be our objective. Connection with worldly people is not our ultimate objective; it never has been and it never will be. Nor is it our objective to gain something from worldly people or to reach them. Be it USA’s Capitol Hill or any other chamber, it is not our ultimate objective. No matter how educated an Ahmadi may be or how many connections he may have, he or she should remember that our ultimate objective is to make the world turn to One God and to raise the banner of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) higher than any worldly chamber and worldly flag.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he spoke at Capitol Hill in light of the teaching of the Holy Qur’an and the true teaching of Islam and it was not by virtue of any personal ability of his. He said he did not consider himself very knowledgeable and was a humble person but the Messiah in whose representation he had gone to make this address and his master, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was promised ‘You have been helped with prestige…’ by God. As he prayed while been driven to Capitol Hill, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih thought that people considered the place to be a very important chamber. He said he had had no time to think this before and had the thought in the car. He prayed that he was a humble servant of God who was taking God’s message there in representation of His Messiah. Therefore, he prayed to be shown a manifestation of the promise of ‘You have been helped with prestige…’ [Tadhkirah p. 92] made to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) on the day. And God accepted this prayer and discerning Ahmadis saw this and said that they experienced a manifestation of ‘You have been helped with prestige…’. Others too expressed similarly.
Anwer Mahmood Khan sahib who is the son of Maulana Abdul Malik Khan and lives in USA and is a member of the national amila, has written an article about the reviews of the politicians. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih thinks he should have it printed in Al Fazl and other magazines.
The event was attended by 29 congressman and senators. Also present were people from think-tanks, from the Pentagon, NGOs as well as professors. The total number was 110. It is well known that usually congressmen or senators do not stay for long at such occasions. However, they all sat through this event, with the exception of two or three who had apologised earlier. A seasoned Capitol Hill bureaucrat told Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih that in his 15 years there he had never seen any more than 10 congressmen and senators attend and they did not sit for more than 5 or 10 minutes no matter who was addressing. He said what was most amazing for him was that both the government and opposition leaders sat together.
The aforementioned senator who had met Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih in 2008 also attended this function and sat through it. Although the event was held in a good-sized hall named Gold Room, due to lack of seating, some congressmen and senators stood through the proceedings and listened and perhaps what they listened was contrary to their inclination; establishment of justice, big nations to look after small nations, equality in the Security Council and the UNO, wealth of other nations not be coveted. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih explained all this in light of the Holy Qur’an. After the address, the first Muslim congressman told Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih that he particularly liked that others’ wealth should not be coveted. He said the lecture should be promptly published and distributed. A congressman’s view was that this message was needed by USA today.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said it was merely by the grace of God that the teaching of Islam was taken to them. Whether it has an impact on them or not, the beautiful teaching of Islam has been explained to them. True Hamd belongs to God Who facilitated this occasion and each Ahmadi should remember this. If the politicians pay attention to justice, the world will be saved as will they. Otherwise God’s decree will come to pass.
With the grace of God in Canada our secretary of external affairs is young and he and his team has good connections, both old and new. They should also be grateful to God for enabling them to take the truth to people. Many meetings were held with politicians who came to see Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih. Two events were held in Canada. One was the inauguration of Tahir Hall. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih spoke in light of the teachings of Islam at the reception and received many positive reviews from the guests. A governmental organisation had promised to give 2.5 million Canadian dollars towards the construction of Tahir Hall. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih came to know of this he said the money should be returned with thanks. With God’s grace the Jama’at was enabled to accomplish the work at the cost of several million dollars in spite of the fact that there are many on-going mosque building projects. Canadian Jama’at has a great spirit of sacrifice and is managing all the projects at considerable cost. May God bless them. The Jamia had outgrown its building. Now new offices and classrooms have been added. Seeing this progress, one is filled with Hamd. May God make each member of the Community truly grateful and one who engages in Hamd.
Due to good relations with the Jama’at, the chief minister of Ontario insisted to hold a reception for Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih. When he was told that due of shortage of time and travelling distance this was difficult to accommodate, he altered the plan and held the reception at a hotel near where Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih was staying. At the reception, he spoke highly of the Jama’at. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih also spoke for 15/20 minutes on the teachings of Islam. In Canada, the office-holders as well as ordinary Ahmadis have good connections with people outside the Community and these are ever-improving. It should be remembered that this is only with the grace of God and not due to anyone’s personal efforts.
With the grace of God the Canadian Jama’at has great level of sincerity and devotion. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had expressed some displeasure in his last sermon about some organisational matters. During mulaqats as well as through letters emotional members of the Jama’at apologised profusely to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said if there was any displeasure, it was aimed at the relevant departments and their office-holders and not members of the Jama’at. If it was not for the love and sincerity of the members of the Canadian Jama’at, the Jalsa would have been moved to USA. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he had no complaint with the members of the Jama’at there. Some mistakes were made during Jalsa or from among the members, as it can be at places, there were complaints regarding noise from a section of ladies. All this can be put right by the office-holders and the duty-holders’ attention. If anyone needed to apologise, it were the office-holders and some duty-holders. While they did not think about, the ordinary Ahmadis were anxious that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had expressed displeasure.
With the grace of God, seeing the love and sincerity of the Canadian Jama’at, one’s heart is filled with Hamd. The population of Peace Village has increased. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he thought perhaps there were a thousand Ahmadi homes there. This has also increased its vibrancy. God has granted amazing people to the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), their love and devotion to Khilafat is intense. With Ramadan approaching Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih returned home although he wanted to stay on for a few more days. He said it also God’s grace that the Canadian Jama’at has overgrown their Jalsa venue, they should think about extending their Jalsa venue. The thought should not be how it will happen. God will make it happen as long as we are truly grateful to Him.
Addressing the asylum seekers in USA, Canada and in the UK Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said God has blessed them. In order to draw further blessings they should not lose themselves in the world, rather, they should forge connection with God. In particular the young members should be most grateful to God, the more grateful they will be, the greater blessings they will receive. They saw difficult times in Pakistan, they should not forget those times. The newcomers should demonstrate good models and they should remember that coming [to the West] is not merely for worldly reasons.
InshaAllah Ramadan begins in a couple of days. Every Ahmadi should fully benefit from this Ramadan and take prayer and worship to its high point. May God enable everyone so that we may witness blessings more than ever.
Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih announced two funeral Prayers in absentia. Chaudhry Naeem Ahmad Gondal shaheed was martyred yesterday in Karachi.
Sahibzada Mirza Hafeez Ahmad sahib, son of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) passed away during the night of 14 and 15 July. He was 86.