Huzoor based today’s Friday sermon on the significance and excellence of the Holy Qur’an. Huzoor started by reciting the following Quranic verse:
‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful.’ (2:186)
Huzoor said: Allah the Exalted has explained to us in the Holy Qur’an the significance and status of the Holy Qur’an, the need to put it in practice, how to put it in practice, for whom is the Qur’an a life-giving source, what effects it has on human life and many other countless matters. This is so that not only we may put this great law-bearing Book in practice to facilitate our spiritual, religious and moral development, but also our worldly progress. In the verse that I have just recited, the blessings of the month of Ramadan have been linked to the Holy Qur’an and thus a connection has been established. By connecting Ramadan to the Holy Qur’an the significance of Ramadan has been further highlighted.
The statement; ‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down…’ informs us that this last law-bearing and perfect Book is connected to Ramadan. A person wishing to progress in faith, who wishes to disseminate this last and complete Book and Law in the world and for the world to know it, who wishes to try and take himself back to the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) to gain nearness of Allah the Exalted and hear the sound of: ‘…I am near…’ (2:187), should pay the dues of Ramadan and the Holy Qur’an and understand their mutual connection. These distances which seem very far-off in other days and months are gathered close-by in this month. Thus, a true believer should try and derive as much beneficence from this month as possible.
Commentators have written that there is such great significance of fasting in Ramadan described in this verse or the significance is in part of the verse that the Holy Qur’an has cited special commandments about it. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has also said that ‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down…’ is a phrase which informs of the magnitude of Ramadan. He also said that due to this magnitude, the reward of fasting is also very high and great. However, this is for those who also pay the dues of the correlation between fasting and the Holy Qur’an and those dues are to read the Holy Qur’an while fasting, to reflect over it, to listen to or read its commentaries. As far as I know and I have assessed that there are many even among us, quite a substantial number, who do not try to pay the dues of the Holy Qur’an even during Ramadan. They do not read it properly, meaning they do not read it as it should be read with due care and attention. If the read it, they read a little and nonchalantly. Anyway attention needs to be paid to this.
One meaning of: ‘The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down…’ is that the revelation of the Holy Qur’an started in this month. Hazrat ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) has related that each year in Ramadan Jibraeel used to revise with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) however much Qur’an had been revealed until then and in the year of his passing away, the Qur’an was revised twice. Thus the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), owing to the distinct will of Allah the Exalted, draws our attention to at least try and finish one reading of the Holy Qur’an during Ramadan and as I said earlier, also reflect over it. Then alone will we be able to practice the words of Allah the Exalted that it is: ‘…a guidance for mankind…’. If we ponder over it, read it and understand that it is ‘a guidance’ for people. It is ‘a guidance’ for those people who wish to seek guidance from it and indeed guidance cannot be sought without reading and understanding.
Thus, reading it and understanding it is important because Allah the Exalted states that this guidance comes with reasoning and has not been simply given to be read, rather, each set of guidance has been given with reasoning. It should be read, understood and put in practice because something which is understood by means of reasoning is practiced from the depth of heart, in the true sense and while understanding the spirit behind the guidance. The reasoning of course is given with clear proofs. This facilitates taking this guidance to others and to explain it to them and thus the commandment of Jihad of Tabligh through the Holy Qur’an is fulfilled. [The verse] also declares that it contains ‘discrimination’; solid reasoning with clear proofs which distinguish between true and false. A person who practices upon the Holy Qur’an appears different from the rest; indeed whoever practices the teaching of the Holy Qur’an will appear different from the rest. His practice, his spiritual condition and his faith will be of a distinctly higher level than others.
When we discuss the Holy Qur’an with others and use its reasoning, no other book or religion can stand up to the Holy Qur’an. This is because it contains such teachings and such historic facts and such reasoning compared to other faiths that they prove its superiority as clear as day. The Holy Qur’an declares that it is from God Almighty from the start till the end and is safeguarded in its original form; indeed the Holy Qur’an announces that it will be safeguarded forever. Allah the Exalted states that during the month of Ramadan, along with fasting, which is a spiritual endeavour, also try and read and understand this treasure of knowledge and discernment. Make its teachings a part of your life and reflect over its commandments and implement them in your life. Repeat and remind yourself of [any] forgotten parts of it, ruminate its blessings during this month and self-reflect to see as to how much you practice the Holy Qur’an. This is what Allah the Exalted states to us because this is what adorns our life and our ending.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explains ‘…a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination…’:
‘This means that: The Holy Qur’an has three qualities. First, it guides people to the knowledge of the faith that had disappeared. Secondly, it sets forth the details of such knowledge as had been briefly stated. Thirdly, it sets forth the decisive word concerning matters over which differences had arisen and thus distinguishes between truth and falsehood.’ (Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, pp. 223-227, footnote 11 – Essence of Islam, Vol. 1, p. 482)
This it is a comprehensive and complete Book which is matchless and in which everything has been stated completely. It points out the errors of the earlier faiths and makes up for their deficiencies. It is a favour of Allah the Exalted that He has given us birth in this age and has also enabled us to accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). By thus enabling us, He also facilitated us to understand the significance and knowledge of the Holy Qur’an through him. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) presented the treasures of the knowledge and discernment of the Holy Qur’an to us. True insight in this is gained by reading his books, indeed, it can be gained by reading them. Anyhow, right now I will present a few extracts of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about the Holy Qur’an which elucidate the significance and status of the Holy Qur’an. They also draw our attention to our responsibilities in this regard so that we may keep these matters in view to read the Holy Qur’an, to teach it to others and to put it in practice. I have only explained part of the verse that I recited earlier. I shall now present some extracts of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
He says: ‘The expression Khatam-un-Nabiyyin which has been applied to the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] demands that the Book that was revealed to him, should be the most perfect of all books and should comprise all excellences; and indeed so it is. The rule is that whatever degree of spiritual power and inner perfection is possessed by the person upon whom the word of God descends, the same degree of power and majesty is possessed by that word. As the spiritual power and inner perfection of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] were of the highest degree, which no one exceeded or will exceed, therefore the Holy Qur’an occupies that high station and rank which has not been reached by any of the previous books or scriptures. The capacity and spiritual power of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] were the highest of all, and all excellences had reached their climax in him.
Therefore, the Holy Qur’an that was revealed to him is also perfect and as the excellences of Prophethood reached their climax in him, the excellences of the miracle of the word reached their climax in the Holy Qur’an. Thus he was the Khatam-un-Nabiyyin and his Book was the Khatam-ul-Kutub. From the point of view of every aspect of a miraculous word, the Holy Qur’an is at the highest stage. The perfection of the Holy Qur’an is seen and its miraculous character is proved from every point of view, that is to say, from the points of view of excellence of composition, of the sequence of its subjects, of its teaching and its perfection and of the fruits of its teaching. That is why the Holy Qur’an has not demanded its match from any particular point of view, but has issued a general challenge demanding a match from any point of view. From whichever point of view it is looked at, it is a miracle. (Malfuzat, Vol. III, pp. 36-37 – Essence of Islam, Vol. I, p 356- 357)
Explaining the significance of the Holy Qur’an and drawing our attention to it the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says: ‘If we did not have the Holy Qur’an and only had collections of Ahadith as eminent sources of faith we would have been embarrassed to face other people. I have reflected over the word Qur’an and it was disclosed to me that this blessed word contains a great prophecy which is that this alone is the Qur’an, that is, a book worthy of reading. A time will come when more than ever it alone will be the Book worthy of reading when other books will also be read along with it. At that time this alone will be the Book worthy of reading in order to protect the honour of Islam and to eradicate falseness and other books would certainly be worthy of being discarded. This is what ‘Furqan’ means: that is, this Book alone will distinguish between truth and falseness and no book of Hadith or any other book will be of the status. Therefore leave all the books and only read Book of Allah night and day. Extremely faithless is the person who does not show regard to the Holy Qur’an and is inclined to other books all the time. Our Jama’at should try and be occupied with the Holy Qur’an and ponder over it wholeheartedly and give up being inclined to Ahadith. It is of great regret that the Holy Qur’an is not deliberated over as Ahadith are! Take the weapon of the Holy Qur’an in hand to triumph at this hour. No darkness will be able to withstand this light!’ (Malfuzat, Vol. I, p. 386)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once said the following about sources of reformation:
‘How can change and reformation be brought about? The answer is with Salat alone, which is real Prayer. Reflect over the Holy Qur’an for it contains everything; detail of virtues and vices and news of times to come.’
The foremost thing is to be drawn to Salat, especially these days attention should be given to congregational Salat, special arrangements should be made. As the Holy Qur’an is connected to Ramadan, if habit is formed during these days to read it, reflect over it and practice its teachings in our lives, it will avail in future.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘Know very well that it presents the religion on which no objection can be raised because its blessings and its fruits can be found afresh. Religion was not perfectly presented in the Gospel. Its teaching may have been suitable for that time, but it is not suitable for all times and all situations. It is the distinction of the Holy Qur’an alone that Allah the Exalted has given the antidote of every ailment in it and has explained the training of all faculties. Removal of any evil that is mentioned is also given. Therefore, continue to recite the Holy Qur’an and continue to pray and try and keep your conduct in line with its teaching.’
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) used to say that a Pakistani minister went on a tour of China in the days of Mao Tse-tung. He asked Mao why he brought about a revolution in his nation. Mao replied why do you ask me, go and observe the model of your Prophet and read your Qur’an and practice it and you will find everything! Thus even others who have understanding, whether they accept it or not, see a light in the Holy Qur’an.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote about the revolutionary change brought about by practicing Quranic teaching and its miracles:
‘The second miracle of the Holy Quran, which we can perceive and witness in our own time, is the marvellous transformation of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa, through their submission to the Holy Quran and under the influence of the Holy Prophet’ssa companionship. When we look at the kind of people they were and how they behaved before they accepted Islam, and how they were transformed by the company of the Holy Prophetsa and by submission to the Holy Quran, and how, in respect of their morals, their beliefs, their behaviour, their demeanour, their conduct, and all their practices, they rid themselves of their evil condition and entered into a pure and immaculate state; and when we look at the wonderful influence which brought a strange light and radiance to their rusty beings, we have to concede that this change was indeed miraculous and it was brought about specially by the Hand of God…’ (Three Questions by a Christian, p. 33)
The Promised Messiah had explained the reasons behind this earlier on as keeping company of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and practicing the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.
He also said:
‘It is evident to every fair-minded person how much the very same ignorant, wild, vain and wicked-natured people changed after coming into Islam and accepting the Qur’an. This was because of the effects of the Word of God and the company of the pure Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) which instantly so transformed their hearts in a very short time that after ignorance they were endowed with religious knowledge and discernment. Forsaking love of the world, they were so absorbed in Divine love that they willingly abandoned their homelands, wealth, dear ones, honour and creature comforts to attain the pleasure of Allah the Exalted. Both these phases of their earlier life and new life which they attained after Islam are so clearly recorded in the Holy Qur’an that a pious person is spontaneously moved to tears when reading them. What was it that so rapidly attracted them from one world to another world! There were only two reasons; one was that the pure Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was tremendously effective in his power of holiness, the like of which there never was and there never will be! Secondly, it was the tremendous and wondrous effects of the pure Word of the Omnipotent, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining God. They brought a large number of people out of immense darkness into light. Without doubt the Quranic effects are extraordinary because no one can give an example in the world of another book having such effect! Who can give proof that another book brought about as amazing a change and reformation as the Holy Qur’an did!...It is the experience of hundreds of thousands of holy people that after following the Holy Qur’an Divine blessings descend on heart and one develops an amazing graft with Noble Lord. Light and revelation of God Almighty are revealed to their hearts and they are granted a strong sense of trust in God as soon as they utter words and points of knowledge. They are given resolute sense of belief and a delicious love of God, borne of the pleasure of union, is placed in their hearts. If their beings were to be pounded in severe misfortunes and were wrung through tough clamps, their sap extracted would be nothing but Divine love.’ (Surma Chashm Ariya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 2, pp. 77-79)
No matter how much they are ground down, as one grinds in a grinder, or are wrung through tough clamps, if ever there was a device to obtain human sap, what would be the final outcome of people who ponder over the teaching of the Holy Qur’an and who adore the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him)? Only the sap of Divine love would be extracted out and nothing else.
‘The world is unaware of them and they are very distant and higher than worldliness. God’s treatment of them is extraordinary and God’s existence is proved to them. It is disclosed to them that there is One Who listens when they pray. Who responds when they call out and when they seek refuge He runs to them. His love for them is greater than fathers’ love and He showers blessings on their abodes. They can thus be identified through God’s apparent, hidden and spiritual help and succour. He helps them in every field because they are His and He is theirs. These matters are not without proof.’ (Surma Chashm Ariya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 2, p. 79)
The secret of success today remains to practice teachings of the Holy Qur’an; merely accepting it is not sufficient. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says:
‘The reality is that as long as Muslims are not fully observant and adherent of what Allah the Exalted has taught in the Holy Qur’an they cannot attain any kind of success. The further they go from the Holy Qur’an the further they become from degrees and paths of success. Practicing the Holy Qur’an alone is the source of progress and guidance.’
He advised his Jama’at, as I just read:
‘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’.
It alone will corroborate or deny the state of one’s 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. (Kashti Nuh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 19, pp. 26-27 – Essence of Islam, Vol. 1 pp. 400-401)
Stating its significance, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘The Holy Qur’an is a pure Book which came in the world at a time when immense disorder had spread and many wrong creeds and erroneous practices had become customary and almost all people were embroiled in immoral practices and creeds. Allah the Exalted indicates to this in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Corruption has appeared on land and sea…’ (30:42) That is, all people, be it people of the Book or be it others, all of them were embroiled in immoral creeds and great disorder was perpetrated in the world. Thus, Allah the Exalted sent a perfect Book like the Holy Qur’an for guidance and to refute all false creeds. It has the refutation of all false religions especially in Surah Al Fatihah, which is read five times a day in every unit of every Salat, complete guidance is indicated.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘The promises of success which God Almighty gave by the Glory of His Divinity in opposition to all opponents, all enemies, all deniers, all the wealthy, all powerful rulers, all philosophers, all followers of other religions, to that humble, weak, poor, unlearned, untrained one, and which were fulfilled at their time and continue to be fulfilled, could not be the work of any human being, nor can any honest seeker after truth have any doubt concerning them.’ (Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1 pp. 266-267, footnote 11 - Essence of Islam, Vol, 1, p. 283)
Someone asked a question about how the Holy Qur’an should be recited and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) answered:
‘The Holy Qur’an should be read carefully and should be reflected on. Hadith relates that there are many reciters of the Holy Qur’an who are cursed by the Holy Qur’an. A person who reads the Qur’an but does not practice it is cursed by the Holy Qur’an. When reciting the Holy Qur’an one comes to a verse about blessing, blessing should sought from God Almighty and when chastisement of a people is mentioned, refuge should be sought from God Almighty from God Almighty’s chastisement. The Qur’an should be read with due care and attention and it should be practiced on.’ (Malfuzat, Vol. 5, p. 157)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explains how to fulfil the object of recitation of the Holy Qur’an:
‘People read the Holy Qur’an in a parrot-like fashion without understanding it, just like the rapid chanting of a pundit who neither understands what he is saying nor do the listeners. Similarly the recitation of the Holy Qur’an has been reduced to simply reading a couple of Parts without understanding what has been read. At the very most it is read melodiously and letters of ع (ain) and ق (qaf) are pronounced properly. It is good to read the Holy Qur’an in a fine and melodious manner.’
Hadith also relate that it should be recited well.
‘However, the true objective of recitation of the Holy Qur’an is to be informed of its truths and knowledge so that man can bring about a change in him! Remember that the Holy Qur’an has an amazing philosophy in it. There is a system to it which is not valued. Unless the system of the Holy Qur’an and its sequence is not kept in view and it is not fully reflected over, the objectives of its recitation are not fulfilled.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that recitation of the Word of God creates Divine love:
‘The root of worship is in recitation of the Holy Qur’an because if the words of the Beloved are read or listened to, they certainly stir love in a true lover and exhilarate ardour.’ (Surma Chashm Ariya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 2, p. 283)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the Holy Qur’an has the antidote to harshness of hearts:
‘Man should read the Holy Qur’an abundantly and when reading it he comes across a prayer, he should also pray and seek the same from God which is sought in the prayer. If he comes across citation of chastisement, he should seek refuge from it and should avoid those bad practices owing to which the people [in the citation] were ruined. If there is harshness in heart, the way to soften is to repeatedly read the Holy Qur’an. Wherever prayer is cited, a believer also wants to experience the same blessing. The Holy Qur’an can be likened to a garden. Man picks a certain kind of flower from one place and further ahead picks another kind of flower. He should garner benefit according to the situation.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that there is no need for any other revealed book after the Holy Qur’an which is a perfect and complete Book:
‘The Holy Qur’an was revealed at a time when all possible needs had become apparent and all moral and doctrinal and verbal matters and human conduct had been corrupted, and all kinds of excesses and vices had reached their limit. Therefore, the teaching of the Holy Qur’an was all comprehensive. It is in this sense that the law revealed in the Qur’an is perfect and final, and previous revealed laws are incomplete, as the evils for the reform of which previous revealed Books had come, had not arrived at their climax, but at the time of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an they had reached their maximum. Now the distinction between the Holy Qur’an and other revealed Books is that even if those Books had been safeguarded in every way, their teaching being incomplete, a perfect teaching, that is to say, the Holy Qur’an would have been needed to be revealed; but no other Book is needed after the Holy Qur’an as there can be nothing beyond perfection.
If it was to be supposed that the true principles of the Holy Qur’an would be perverted like the Vedas and the Bible and associates would be set up with God Almighty, and the teaching of the Unity of God would be altered and perverted, and that the millions of Muslims who are established on the Unity of God would fall into shirk and worship of creatures, then in such case another law would have to be revealed and another Messenger would arrive, but all this supposition is out of the question. The perversion of the teaching of the Holy Qur’an is not possible…’ (Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 1, pp. 101-102, footnote 9 – Essence of Islam, Vol. 1, p. 478)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘Remember, the Holy Qur’an is the fountainhead of true blessings and is a true source of salvation. Those who do not practice the Holy Qur’an are themselves to be blamed. Among those who not practice it, one group is of those who not believe in it and they do not consider it to be Word of God Almighty. These people are very distant and remote. However, how astonishing and regrettable it is when those who believe that it is the Word of God and is a healing formula for salvation also do not practice it. Many among these have not even read it in their entire lives. The example of such people who are so negligent and careless about Word of God is like a person who knows of a clear, sweet and cool water spring with water that is elixir and healing for many illnesses and he has this knowledge for certain. Yet, in spite of knowing this and in spite of being thirsty and suffering from many ailments he does not go to it. How unfortunate and ignorant of him! He should have put his mouth on the spring and satiated himself and derived pleasure from its delicious and healing water. However, in spite of having knowledge, he is as distant from it as someone who has no knowledge of it and he remains distant from it until death overtakes him. The condition of this person is most cautionary. The state of Muslims is also similar these days. They know that the Holy Qur’an is the key to all advancement and all success which they should practice. But, no! it is not at all cared about. A person who calls to it with great compassion and good intent and not only sympathetically but also owing to the commandment of God Almighty is labelled a liar and Dajjal. How more pitiable can the condition of these people get!
Muslims should have had, and it is also necessary for them now, to consider this water spring a magnificent blessing and value it. Valuing it is in practicing it and then observe how God Almighty alleviates their problems and troubles. If only Muslims would understand and think that Allah the Exalted has created a pious way for them to avail by treading on it.’ (Malfuzat, Vol. 4, pp. 140-141)
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘It is true that most Muslims have abandoned the Holy Qur’an yet the lights and blessings of the Holy Qur’an and its effect are ever living and fresh. I have been sent at this time as a proof of this and Allah the Exalted has always sent His people to corroborate and support it because He had promised: ‘Verily, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.’ (15:10) The promise to safeguard the Qur’an by Allah the Exalted was not made for Torah or any other book. Therefore human interpolation worked its way in these books. It is a great source of safeguard of the holy Qur’an that proof of its effects is also found afresh. Since the Jews abandoned the Torah, they do not have any strength or effect remaining which indicates their ruination.’
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) advises with great compassion:
‘Do not abandon the Holy Qur’an like something forsaken for therein is your life. Those who will honour the Holy Qur’an will be honoured in the heavens and those who will give precedence to the Holy Qur’an over every Hadith and every other discourse will be given precedence in the heavens. There is no other book on the face of the earth for mankind but the Holy Qur’an and for the entire human race there is no other Prophet and intercessor but the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).’ (Kashti Nuh, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 19, p. 13)
These few extracts have been read to draw attention to the significance of the Holy Qur’an and to its recitation so that each one of us is drawn to it and we derive beneficence from this significant treasure in the month of Ramadan. As it was said in the beginning, read it and ponder over it and the parts that you have forgotten, some people forget verses they had memorised, repeat them and memorise them once again. Try and practice the commandments which have not been in your view. May Allah the Exalted enable all of us to do so!
I will lead two funeral Prayers after Salat, one of them is present. Our Kaleem Wassem Sahib, who was a MTA worker, passed away on 6 July of a heart attack at the age of 54. Inna lillahe wa inna illaihi raji’oon. He was the paternal grandson of Hazrat Haji Muhammad Din Sahib, Dervish of Qadian and was the maternal grandson of Syed Sadiq Ali Sahib of Saharanpur and the son-in-law of Mubarak Saqi Sahib who was a missionary here and was also additional Wakilul Tabsheer.
Kaleem Sahib was an active member of Jama’at from childhood. During his time in Karachi he was a member of the local and district amila and in Abu Dhabi, he served as Naib Sadr of Jama’at. He immigrated to the UK in 1989 and served as qaid majlis of London region. He also served in finance and Khidmat e Khalq departments and also served during Jalsa Salana. With the inception of MTA in 1997 he was one of its early workers and worked in maintenance and technical fields and also served in other departments. He was currently in-charge of translation and thus served in MTA till his last breath. He was also one of the early MTA news readers and presenters. He had great love for Khilafat and worked with honesty and had a very affectionate relationship with his staff and respected them.
His elderly mother is living. He has left behind his wife, Sarah Waseem Sahiba, two sons and one daughter. His mother says that he had great regard and respect for his parents and was very caring towards them and served them very well. He was very caring towards his siblings. His wife says that she observed that her husband had a real spirit to serve and was ever ready to serve the religion of God Almighty. Whatever task was entrusted to him by Khilafat he would try to undertake it with great passion, enthusiasm and cheerfulness. He had perfect belief that Allah the Exalted provides for everyone and also assured others to trust in Allah when doing something or pray to Him. Hospitality was his great attribute and he was most hospitable towards guests at home, in fact he would invite people over. His sister has written that he did not have even a hint of pretence and one of his qualities was that he read books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) as she had often observed.
One of his workers Asim Shehzad writes that he worked with Kaleem Sahiob for eleven years at MTA and found him honest and sincere and a true devotee of Khilafat. In his capacity as a senior worker he never let the junior workers feel his seniority and dealt with them with warmth and affection as he trained them for work. Once he saw Kaleem Sahib cleaning the MTA complex at Baitul Futuh and asked him why he was cleaning himself, he should get others to do it. Kaleem Sahib told him very proudly that when the complex was inaugurated, one of the advice I gave to the workers , the advice of the Khalifa of the time, was a particular advice about cleaning and when I was giving this advice I was looking towards him, therefore he understood the instruction to be foremost for him and did the cleaning himself.
Once he was viewing old MTA clips of slides of extracts of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and the Khulafa which purported that MTA is an organisation which is playing a large role in furthering the mission of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). While watching these clips he started weeping uncontrollably and said how fortunate is Kaleem to be enabled by Allah the Exalted to be working at MTA.
Once his leave was due and he applied for leave but Ata ul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib said to him not to take leave at that time as there was a lot of work load. He promptly took back his application for leave and tore it up. Ata ul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib has also written to me that he tore up the application most cheerfully and not in annoyance. Imam Sahib also writes that MashaAllah he was enabled to serve with love and sincerity and also gave precedence to Jama’at work to personal interests. He was an expert in his field and worked with great penchant.
Khalid Sahib has also written that whenever during the time of Ravil Sahib who was available at odd hours Kaleem Sahib was approached, he always said that it did not matter, whenever Ravil Sahib was free to come he should come, whether it was night or day. He only asked to be informed in advance so that he could make the preparations. He was ever ready to serve.
I have also observed that whenever he came for mulaqat with his children, he would sit his children in the front and took the back seat himself. Perhaps to ensure the children spoke directly to me and the connection that he had with Khilafat would pass onto their children. May Allah ever fulfil his desire and his children remain connected to Khilafat. Both the mother and father have brought up their children in a very fine way, MashaAllah. May Allah always keep the children as useful members of Jama’at and be their Helper and may He grant patience and steadfastness to his wife and also his mother.
The other funeral is of Al Haaj Asim Zaki Bashir ud Din Sahib of USA which will be in absentia; the first funeral will be present. He passed away on 22 June 2014 after suffering from cancer for a few years during which time he did not ever show any sign of despondency. He fought his battle with illness with great courage and patience. He was born to a Christian family on 26 May 1929 and was drawn to religion from childhood. He was introduced to Ahmadiyyat through personal study and interest and with the grace of Allah the Exalted accepted Ahmadiyyat at the age of 19 or 20. He had resolute belief in the existence of God Almighty and had very strong faith. He was a very patient and grateful person; an embodiment of a true believer. He met many elders of the Jama’at and it was in 1940 when he first met Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan Sahib. He had the honour to meet Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him). Asim Sahib said during his first mulaqat with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) he felt as if he had a halo of light around him; he said he could still picture it.
He was enabled to serve in the national amila of USA and was also a local Sadr as well as Tabligh secretary and also served as Zaim Ansarullah. He worked at the port in Seattle, USA for which he had to be away from home for two to three months. His job was well paid but once Jalsa fell during his working days and he left work to attend Jalsa. He always participated in Jama’at programmes. Once he was speeding as he drove to some Jama’at work and police stopped him. He had his prayer cap on so the police asked him if he was going to church, meaning the mosque as he wore a Muslim prayer cap. He said yes he was. The police officer happened to be a good person he told him that he could go but asked him to donate the penalty that he was going to charge him to the mosque. As soon as he reached the mosque he very honestly paid $85, the penalty amount, as chanda. When the Seattle mosque was built he was the highest contributor towards it. This was in 1970 and it was said that his donation amount could have bought a new car at the time. He was very fond of Tabligh and always kept a folding table, some books and flyers in his car. Wherever he went he would set up stall and do Tabligh and distribute literature. He had Jama’at publications and flyer placed in the public library in Seattle. He was concerned about the progress of Jama’at till his last breath. He had great love for the Jama’at and for Khilafat and always advised people to serve the Jama’at. He leaves behind his wife and four children. May Allah the Exalted elevate his station and also enable his children to stay firm on piety.