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SUMMARY OF FRIDAY SERMON

by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
October 31st, 2003


Ramadhan and acceptance of prayer

Today Huzur aba delivered the Friday Sermon on the blessings of Ramadan. Reciting verses 186 and 187 of Surah Al Baqarah Huzur aba elucidated the subject with reference to ahadith as well as writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and others.

Huzur aba said whereas Ramadan further enhances the spiritual development of the devout, it also enables those who are perhaps neglectful of worship to emulate these righteous people, benefit from the general spiritual ambience of Ramadan and gain nearness to Allah. Study of the Holy Quran positively takes one towards Allah and provides spiritual discernment. Huzur aba said that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained to us that the Arabic word 'Ramadan' connotes the physical effects of enduring hunger for the sake of Allah and indeed the resulting warmth it generates for the love of Allah.

Huzur aba said that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) enjoined that everything has a point of entrance/doorway and the entrance/doorway to worship is fasting and that fasting is a shield and a fortified castle against the Fire. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) enjoined that fasting protects one against the trouble and betrayal brought about by one's family etc. and that there will be lofty mansions in paradise for those who are pleasant of speech, who feed the needy, who observe fasts regularly and who worship Allah at a time when people are asleep. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) said that Allah considers the odour emitting from the mouth of a person who is fasting better than musk. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) said that Allah pardons one who remembers Him in Ramadan and He listens to his prayers. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) enjoined to remember Allah abundantly so much so that people may remark that one is like a passionately obsessed person, he also enjoined the superiority of praying during the pre-dawn (tahajjud) hours.

Elucidating verse 187 of Al Baqarah Huzur aba said that this verse that affirms the acceptance of prayer has been placed next to the verse that declares excellence of fasting and this signifies the link between the month of Ramadan and acceptance of prayer. He said that Allah listens to those who also pay heed to Allah's
commandments, who have complete faith in Him, are kind to His creation, shun quarrelling and vengeance and try and imbue the Divine attributes according to their capacity on a human level.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that Allah declares that when His servants ask for a testimony to His Being the answer is that He is near and that He listens to one who calls on Him, what is required is that they adopt righteousness (taqwa) and kindness. He said that prayer (dua) is most appropriate when said during Salat and when a believer's prayer attains absolute sincerity and severance from all worldly motives then Allah's compassion comes into force.

Huzur aba concluded on a prayer of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and a prayer made by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) during his 'farewell address'. Huzur aba prayed that may Allah enable us to derive all the beneficence and blessings of Ramadan.