Friday Sermon: Blessed Financial Sacrifice and Waqf-e-Jadid New Year

January 4th, 2013

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih recited the following Quranic verse at the start of his Friday sermon today:They who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah, then follow not up what they have spent with taunt or injury, for them is their reward with their Lord, and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ (2:263)

No one else has the perception and insight into this verse as those who accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) have. They make financial sacrifices selflessly and altruistically and they have a desire to spend in this way and if they cannot do as they wish it makes them anxious. This is true of both new and long-term Ahmadis.

Only yesterday Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih saw an Arab new Ahmadi family with good adolescent children who are already devoted to the Jama’at. This family took Bai’at just a few months ago and due to the current economic downturn the father does not have a job. They are finding it difficult to make ends meet and have borrowed from family to get through the adverse times. The lady of the household was most distressed that due to their situation they could not pay chanda (monetary contribution) as they wished. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih reassured them that under the circumstances whatever they paid was sufficient but the lady continued to say that she did not wish to be behind other Ahmadis in her chandas. Such is the revolutionary change that is generated in those who accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). There is no question of them ever feeling smug about their contributions; theirs is the anxiety whether their standard of sacrifice is high enough or not. Sometimes people are disciplined by the administration of the Jama’at and at times the disciplinary procedure stipulates that chanda is not to be accepted from them. This makes some people most anxious and they write in very distressed, apologising and admitting efforts to reform and correct but plead that their chanda payment is not placed under restriction. They say they would accept any form of penalty but they could not relinquish paying their chandas. Thus is the amazing Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who find a wondrous pleasure and peace in financial sacrifice.

Often our detractors can be heard saying in their speeches how the Qadianis or Mirzais or whatever they call us, sacrifice for their objectives whilst their own people did not pay attention. Such expressions of the Maulwis or other organisations are not limited to the sub-continent but can also be seen in Africa. When these people do spend money they like to publicise how much they have spent for welfare causes and their committees often have conflicts because people complain that they money has not been spent correctly. It is a grace of God on the Jama’at that the way our money is blessed cannot be seen to be the case with others. At the recent inauguration of German Jamia a Pakistani newspaper reporter asked Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih if the state’s help had been sought for the work carried out. He replied that with the grace of God, all our tasks are met with the chanda contributions and the Jamia building was no exception. Had a governmental department constructed the building it would have cost a lot of money. Jama’at money is blessed and a lot of work is done with little money. Although the members of the Jama’at do not ever display smugness over their monetary sacrifices nor do they ask any questions but the administration should be most careful and spend extremely prudently. Our prosperity is with the prayers and blessings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Insha’Allah it will remain. However, we should also be mindful of the concern of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) where he had no worry about money coming in; rather his concern was that the hearts of those who spent Jama’at funds should not be embroiled in worldliness. With the grace of God we have an operative system regarding the expenditure with checks and balances in place. Yet, those who spend Jama’at funds should be careful and seek help from God by engaging in Istaghfar.

When Jama’at grows our detractors also increase and they try to create discord in the Jama’at with the help of hypocrites. With the grace of God we will witness His help and succour as long as we continue to make our connection with Him stronger. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said he is never concerned about how such and such project would reach completion. It is amazing how God puts it in the hearts of Ahmadis to sacrifice excelling each other. There are those who give by forfeiting essentials and this is the sign of communities of Prophets of God. They are ever ready for any sort of sacrifice and they consider it a favour of the community and of God that they accept their monetary giving, just as it was mentioned earlier about those who are disciplined by the Jama’at. New converts who comprehend its significance try and come forward in monetary sacrifice. At times financial targets are set in projects and the affluent members of Jama’at make up any shortfall of their own accord; their inner voice inspires them to do so. They can hear God’s proclamation: ‘…and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ Their concern is about the Hereafter and their deeds are a glad-tiding of Paradise. However, God does not only mention reward after death; He does not keep anything in debit in this world either.

It is narrated in a Hadith e Qudsi that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that Allah the Exalted stated: ‘O son of Adam! Spend. I will spend on you.

Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih related some incidents to illustrate the exceptional fervour that God inspires Ahmadi hearts with to spend in His way and how He confers on them to enhance their faith.

A missionary sahib from Niger has related that this year it was mentioned at Jalsa that Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had said that there was room for improvement in African chanda. When this message was relayed to people in Birni Konni they promptly increased their giving. When new participants were urged to join, it had a positive effect. These are farming people and rather than cash they give with grain. The previous year Berni Konni Jama’at gave 16 sacks of grain as chanda but this year they increased it to 52 sacks. Those who pay chanda in cash paid twice as much as they did the year before.

Ameer sahib of Niger relates that they were coming back after collecting sacks of grain from a village when they passed through an Ahmadi village and saw some Khuddam waiting who stopped them. It was 10 O’ clock at night. The Khuddam told them that they had been waiting all evening because the local sadr Lajna had instructed them. The Lajna had collected chanda by working on their own and had collected their own grain to give as chanda.

A missionary sahib from Benin relates that the sadr sahib of a village was an idolater and had become an Ahmadi just one year ago. He had 450 CFA Francs in the house which he gave as chanda with no thought of where the next meal was going to come from. He is a motorcycle rickshaw driver and after paying the chanda he did not even have money for petrol for his rickshaw, so he filled his rickshaw on debit. However, he arrived the next day with 1,000 CFA Francs for chanda and said how amazing was God’s grace that he had so many passengers on the day that he brought home 2,000 CFA Francs.

Ameer sahib Burkina Faso relates that an Ahmadi of Bobo region was experiencing hardship and had not paid chanda for three months. Meanwhile, his house was burgled and his adolescent son was extremely ill. One night he saw a dream in which Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih says to him that he has not paid the chanda for so many months to which he replies that Insha’Allah he will do so in twenty days’ time. When he paid his chanda his son felt better on the same day and also found a good job. The Ahmadi said all this was due to the sacrifice he made.

A missionary sahib from Burkina Faso relates that the sadr of a village is a farming person who says that before he became an Ahmadi his harvest was not as much as it is now. He attributes this to chanda giving and says that such is the blessing of chanda that whereas previously he gave one sacksful this year he gave seven sacks.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said Maulwis allege that we pay people in Africa to join our community but these are the facts.

Ameer sahib of Mali relates that our Mu’allim has narrated that in one of the Jama’at men and women cultivate separate crops to give as chanda. When chanda was collected after the 2011 harvest men had a few more sacks than the women. As the sacks were loaded to be driven away, the women asked to wait. They went and collected a further two sacks and gave those as chanda.

Ameer sahib Mali also relates that a new convert who took Bai’at some six months ago gave 10,000 CFA Francs in chanda. Before Bai’at the health of his family was not very good and it was costing him a lot. He later said that since taking Bai’at and paying the chanda regularly their health was much better and the expense of medicine hugely reduced.

Ameer sahib Uganda relates that a well-off Ahmadi is very keen in giving. He has paid for two mosques to be built in new convert’s areas as well as for a school. In this way he has contributed 50 million shillings and says that since he has started giving, he has no idea how God is providing for him!

Ameer sahib of Gambia relates that an Ahmadi paid his Waqfe Jadid contribution but paid a larger sum again after sometime. When he was remembered that he had already paid he said most cheerfully that no matter how much he paid into something initiated by Khalifa of the time it could not be enough.

A missionary sahib from Leo region of Burkina Faso relates that an elderly person came to the mission house and said that he regularly listened to Radio Ahmadiyya and thought that it was providing a great service. He said he wished to pay a little amount for the radio station in gratefulness for the service it provided and gave 100,000 CFA Francs. It is not easy for the farming people to give this kind of amount. This elderly person was not an Ahmadi but said that he was giving the money because of the Tabligh of Islam the radio station carried out. When the system of chanda was explained to him and a receipt for his contribution given, he remarked that the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat had homed in his heart. He said he had given a lot in the way of God but had not seen such a lucid system of chanda anywhere else.

A local Mu’alim from Benin relates that due to some conflict, the family of a pregnant wife of an Ahmadi took her away. She gave birth to a son while with her family. Her husband tried for years to get custody of his son but remained unsuccessful. He had become an Ahmadi five years ago but did not mention his situation to anyone. This year when he lost the custody case he recounted everything to Mu’alim sahib and asked for prayers. This was during the time Waqfe Jadid chanda was collected. Mu’alim sahib told him that it is our belief that problems are resolved by spending in the way of God. He reminded him that he was an Ahmadi and should pay his chanda and that God removes troubles. He paid 2000 CFA Francs in chanda. Mu’alim sahib relates that three days ago he rang to say that he had seen the blessing of chanda. His father-in-law himself came to return the child to him and did not even ask for any remuneration although earlier he had even agreed to pay all expenses but they were not prepared to give him the child.

An Ahmadi from Tanzania writes that he used to pay nominal amount of chanda. After being advised by missionary sahib he started paying correctly. He experienced God’s grace. He now pays regularly and continues to increase it. He says that earlier he had no property, now he has a sunflower oil factory and has also built his home and is funding myself for a PhD. He is also a Moosi now.

With the grace of God an Ahmadi from Calicut in India always pledges for chanda more than he can afford. His chanda contribution is now 201,000 Rupees. His firm belief is that if he aspires to pay chanda more than he can afford with full trust in God he would be blessed. Towards the end of Waqfe Jadid year he wrote a cheque for his contribution and asked for prayers because he did not have the funds. However, he received income in time to make the payment.

An Ahmadi from Kerala in India who is a Moosi keeps a separate box for each chanda. In the presence of the chanda inspector he opened one of these boxes and noticing a shortfall asked his wife to pay the balance. In addition he paid an extra 165,000 Rupees. With the grace of God thus far his Waqfe Jadid contribution has been 780,000 Rupees.

A 25 year old Ahmadi from Andhra Pradesh in India is at the forefront of financial giving. He had pledged to pay 66,000 Rupees for 2011 but as his income fell short he could not honour the pledge and was mortified about this. It was suggested to him to write to the centre, apologise and request to withdraw the pledge but he declined and said God would provide. The next year he pledged 77,000 Rupees. In May of the year he made a payment for all of the monies he had pledged as well as an additional sum of 24,000 Rupees.

An inspector from India relates that he went to the Tamil Nadu region with Nazim sahib for Waqfe Jadid pledges. An Ahmadi had pledged 160,000 Rupees for the year 2011 which he had paid having enduring disquiet and great difficulty and had only managed to make the payment towards the end of the year. This year he happily and voluntarily pledged 550,000 Rupees. The inspector sahib feared about his capacity to make the payment. They had meal at his house and after seeing him the inspector and the Nazim sahib went to one other house. Some half an hour later they went to the mosque where they saw the person waiting for them. He handed them a plastic bag saying he had brought them the dessert. Inspector sahib remarked that Nazim sahib was diabetic and would not eat the dessert, but he would. The person asked Nazim sahib to take a look in the bag, pray and then hand it over. When Nazim sahib opened the bag he was as if stunned and could not say anything. He handed the bag over to Inspector sahib who looked in the bag and found the amount of 550,000 Rupees. Tears started flowing from his eyes amidst prayers. He could not believe how God had facilitated this!

Sadr sahib Brompton, Canada relates that an Ahmadi who had arrived from USA and had sought asylum but his case became very complicated. He had saved $5000 to send his mother to Germany. When he was contacted for chanda, not only did he pay the saving of $5000 but also paid some extra amount. God’s grace descended on him, not only his asylum case went through without any further hitch but his mother was also able to leave for Germany after a week.

Ameer sahib of Norway writes that once a local Jama’at’s attention was drawn towards the construction of mosque. A short while later in extremely cold and snowy conditions an elderly Ahmadi person came to the mission house and said that he had 70,000 Krones that he wished to give for the construction of the mosque.

Thus some people give throwing caution to the wind because they know that giving with pure intention gains acceptance of God and He rewards it.

As traditional, the announcement of the new Waqfe Jadid year was made in the Friday sermon today. With the grace of God in its 55th year the contributions to the scheme stood at £5,010,000.00; an increase of £317,000.00 from the year before. A ever Pakistan has maintained its first position; beyond its borders there was good news for UK Jama’at as it was second after Pakistan or first among countries outside Pakistan followed by USA, Germany, Canada, India, Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, a Middle Eastern country and Switzerland. In terms of currency the following countries had significant increase in their contribution: Australia, India and Indonesia. France, Norway and Turkey also made headway. Prominent countries in the highest per capita contributions were: USA (£88.00), Switzerland (£55.00), UK (£40.00), Belgium (£39.00) and Canada (£32.00). The number of participants also grew this year. African countries have paid special attention to this. The total number of participants was: 1, 013,112 which is an increase of 323,000. The main thing is increase in the participants so that there is enhancement of faith for everyone. Among the countries at the forefront of greater participants were: Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Outside Africa, UK and Germany also had good increase in numbers and there was also some movement in Kababir. Ghana stood first in the African countries contributions table and may it maintain this position. It was followed by Nigeria, Mauritius, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. The first three Jama’ats in Pakistan were: Lahore, Rabwah and Karachi. In the UK the majalis stood as follows: Raynes Park, Birmingham West, Worcester Park, New Malden, West Croydon, Birmingham Central, Baitul Futuh, Gillingham, Earlsfield and Wimbledon. The UK regional positions were: Midlands, South, London, Middlesex and North East. In USA LA Inland Empire stood first followed by Silicon Valley, Detroit, Seattle and Chicago West. As regards Atfal contributions the Canadian Jama’ats ranks as follows: Calgary, Peace Village South, Edmonton, Durham and Surrey East. In India the regions stood as follows: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Utter Pradesh and Maharashtra.

May God immensely bless each person who made a sacrifice! Next Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih read a relevant extract of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He also made an appeal for prayers. The situation for Ahmadis in Libya is very critical these days. There is no proper government in the country. Each region is under the influence of certain organisations or tribal people. The police has captured our Ahmadis on the say so of religious leaders and organisations and in places it is said they are being tortured. Ahmadis are in great distress there, especially those who are not indigenous Libyans. May God facilitate their release and ease!