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SUMMARY OF FRIDAY SERMON

by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
March 5th, 2004

(NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon)


Absolute Justice and Equity

O ye who believe! Be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even through it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both that you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do. (4:136)
In this verse, Allah has enjoined the Believers not only to practice equity and justice but to proliferate it throughout the world. It directs the Believers to always preserve the truth and never abandon justice and equity for that is the only way peace can be maintained in the world.

The Promised Messiah (as) was criticized by many of his opponents, who falsely accused him, saying that he permitted telling lies in certain circumstances. This is absolutely untrue and absurd because the Promised Messiah (as) was the biggest defender of truth and honesty. He (as) challenged the Christians to bring forth any one verse from the Bible that would stand in comparison to the Quranic verses which enjoin the Muslims to tell the truth. Not a single person came forward to accept this challenge, thus proving false the original charges against him (as).

The Promised Messiah (as) has repeatedly reminded us that the Holy Quran is a blessing sent to us from God. This Holy Book should not be used as a mere tool in defense against the accusations of the enemies, but it should become the heart and the core of our daily practical lives. Our claims to be Muslims will remain worthless and empty unless we begin to apply the Quranic teachings to our own lives.

The verse mentioned above again reminds us that we should become the witnesses of truth only for the sake of Allah. This can only happen if we have in our hearts the fear of Allah, Who knows our apparent condition as well as the deep hidden secrets. He is All Knowing and All Aware, therefore, we must uphold the truth in all circumstances. Such practice will not only elevate the state of Taqwa in us, but also enable us to propagate justice.

When the Promised Messiah (as) and his father were being tried in the court for the claim over some property, the Promised Messiah (as) was summoned to stand witness for the opposing party. It had been decided that because he was such an honest and truthful person, his testimony will be a deciding factor in the judgment. When he was called upon, he gave the statement in favor of the opposing party rather than his own father, despite being directed by the lawyers and advocates not to do so. The case was hence decided against his father, but the Promised Messiah (as) returned home in such high spirits that people thought he had won the case. Such is the practical model set as standard for the Jamaat members, and the Promised Messiah (as) expected nothing less.

We have also been warned repeatedly that we should not use phrases that are vague and may have double meanings during a trial or in any other situation, for the decision to be made in our favor. We must always use straightforward and clear speech to maintain justice and equity and the same standards should be maintained in our transactions, whether they be matters of our own household or dealings with our servants, neighbors or even enemies.

The Promised Messiah (as) frequently reminds us to always stand firm on truth and justice. In commentary of the verse above, he insists that we should never abandon the truth even if it results in harming ourselves or our parents and family. This should be done only to maintain justice, for that is the commandment of Allah. We should not have our personal gains in mind, but the truth and only the truth.

Huzur (aba) quoted another verse from the Holy Quran:

O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do (5:9)
This verse expounds the same topic and includes justice towards enemies as part of the commandment. The verse also means that if justice is not the scale for dealing with others (including enemies), then the fear of Allah has evaporated from such a person’s heart and Satanic worship has settled in. During family disputes, people conjure up false accusations openly and knowingly. Satan imparts on them such strength that they forget Allah and indulge in wrongdoings. Allah, on the other hand reminds us repeatedly to be just and be truthful. We must seek His forgiveness in all matters.

In a Hadith, it is related that at an occasions, a certain number of Companions (ra) were sent to Makkah to seek out information about the enemy. When the Companions reached Kaaba, they saw the enemy and decided to attack them lest they spread the news of their investigation in Makkah. During the attack, two of the enemies were killed at the hands of the Companions, who then fled back to Madinah. When the enemy followed them to Madinah and explained to the Holy Prophet (saw) what had happened, he (saw) decided to pay the blood money of the two victims and even handed over the assailants to the successors of the victims, instead of rebuking the enemy for their past misbehavior. This was the standard of his justice.

The Promised Messiah (as), knowing the maltreatment against his Jamaat members, advised his followers to never take advantage of a situation where the roles were reversed and they held the opportunity to trouble a former persecutor. He (as) was well aware that Allah is All Knowing and He will be the Master of judgment against the wrongdoers.

Huzur (aba) also pointed towards the misdealings that take place in business partnerships. He (aba) explained that in certain cases, one of the business partners is inexperienced and unaware of the business industry and he ends up investing his money as well as signing a contract such that he ends up doing all the work. The more experienced partner benefits from the gains without putting the same and equal effort, which is a case of injustice. Such people, when questioned, defend themselves by saying that they never forced anyone to sign such a contract. They forget that Allah is watching this injustice. Huzur (aba) also advised people who are thinking of going into business with a partner to think hard of what they are getting themselves into, and they should seek counsel and pray to Allah for success before finalizing any deal.

Another situation where injustice can take place arises where loans are concerned. People borrow money fearlessly and when it comes time to return it, they are hesitant and seek refuge by making excuses. This is absolutely unacceptable. A Hadith reported by Abdullah bin Udraw Aslami (ra) relates an incident where the reporter of the Hadith had borrowed 4 Dirhams from a Jew lender. When the Jew asked for the money back at the appointed time, the borrower had no means of returning the money. The case was conveyed to the Holy Prophet (saw). He asked Abdullah to promptly return the money, who replied that he had no means to do so and when he he would return the money when he received the spoils from the next battle,. Huzur (saw) insisted that the money be returned instantly, so Abdullah (ra) had no recourse but to sell an article of his clothing in the marketplace for 4 Dirhams and returned the money. When a passerby (female) companion asked Abdullah (ra) what had happened, he explained, upon which she offered him another article of clothing. Along the same pattern, the Promised Messiah (as) also asserted that loans should be repaid on time; in fact, one should try to pay them off even earlier than the appointed time to lay off the burden.

Another Hadith reported by Hazrat Zohayr (ra) states that the Holy Prophet (saw) likened the hands of a person who is just in his dealings to possessing two right hands (meaning that such a man is exceedingly generous).

Huzur (aba) indicated that there exist such households where instead of the man being responsible for providing the needs of his family, he is living off the income of his wife. He (aba) reminded everyone that a man has no right over the income of a woman. If he wants to be the recipient of Allah’s blessings, he must maintain justice and fulfill his duties towards his children and wife. He (aba) also discussed families, where the man of the house is living in Europe and his family is back home (in Pakistan or elsewhere), and he is totally ignorant of the domestic situation in his home. When questioned, they say that there are certain faults in their spouses due to which they do not wish to live with them. Even if this is the case, the man must provide for his children, even if he is reprimanding his wife, although Huzur (aba) reminded that as long as the wife is betrothed to him, he is responsible for her as well. Such situations cannot be tolerated in our Jamaat, and if they do occur, they should be mended straight away.

In the sermon delivered by the Holy Prophet (saw) at the occasion of Hajj-al-Wida, he reiterated to all the followers for all times to come the duties each spouse holds towards the other. The husband and the wife should take extreme care of each others likings and disliking and be sensitive to their desires. If the husband does not wish for his wife to entertain a certain woman, his wife should not hold such a request against her husband and should be complacent to it. Similarly, a husband should carry out his obligations towards his family with full accountability. This kind of an exchange in a husband-wife relationship will cause a happy and content family to flourish and equity will be maintained.

The Promised Messiah (as) addresses the men and reminds them that to hurt anyone is a sin, especially the girls. They are very sensitive, physically and emotionally. Besides, think of the parents who have betrothed their daughters to you as a custodian and they expect that their daughters will be treated well.

Another situation arises when parents spoil their children either by being too lenient or too strict. Such children grow up to be repulsed by their own parents. When the Holy Prophet (saw) found out that the father of Hazrat Noman bin Bashir (ra) had gifted a servant to him, he (saw) asked the father whether such an offering was bestowed upon all his sons. When the father replied in the negative, Huzur (saw) counseled him to take this gift away from Noman, in for fear that he may become overly pampered.

In cases where a case is brought to the Qaza board in the Jamaat, the Qaza members should be very fair in their decision-making process and be impartial to all people involved. They should keep in mind Allah’s commandments and be God-fearing. The plaintiffs and the defendants involved should also exhibit patience in case of a delay and respect the board members’ proceedings.

A Hadith reported on the account of Abu Huraira (ra) says that an act of justice is an act of charity. At another occasion, where Hazrat Uthman (ra) summoned Ibn Umar (ra) to go and decide a case in the court of law, he hesitated and said that he was afraid that he may become a recipient of Allah’s disfavors in case he made a wrong decision. This is the burden and responsibility a judge carries to the court of law, and withstands in Allah’s court as well.

Another Hadith reports that if a person dies in a state where he has not fulfilled the duties towards the people for whom he was appointed guardian, Paradise will be Haram (prohibited) on him.

A Hadith reported by Abu Huraira (ra) prophecies the advent of the Imam in the latter days in these words: Ibn-e-Maryum will be Hakam (Judge) and Aadil (Just).

The Promised Messiah (as) invites all Jamaat members to be fair and kind towards others, as a mother is to her child. Those who are unfair to others and ridicule them will incur the wrath of Allah upon themselves. Huzur (aba) ended the sermon by praying for the Jamaat and for the next generations to come, and reminded us that the role of an Ahmadi will be very critical in the future world. May Allah enable us all to fulfill the desires of the Promised Messiah (as) as he envisioned his Jamaat members to be, Ameen.