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Guidance of the Qur'an and Acceptance of Prayers

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

September 29th, 2006

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

With reference to the blessed month of Ramadan, citing verse 186 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:186) Huzur explained that the guidance of the Qur’an can only be availed when it is acted upon; Huzur then continued with the subject of Quranic prayers from last Friday sermon and said that in Ramadan acceptance of prayers is greater than at other times and Allah forgives our misdemeanours and oversights. Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that during Ramadan the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors to Hell are shut and Satan is bound up in chains and that unfortunate is a Muslim who experiences Ramadan but does not have his/her sins pardoned.

Huzur said we should make endeavours so that Allah may accept our humble efforts.

Huzur said various prayers of the Holy Qur’an which are prayers of earlier prophets as well of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and have been taught to us with the objective that we may make these prayers in accordance of our needs. It is a favour of Allah to have taught us these prayers; for those who turn to Him with sincerity they carry never-ending blessings. Salat, said in accordance with the way Allah has taught, is most preferred by Him among all acts of worship, that is, not Salat said in a manner that would rebound on us.

For this reason Allah has taught us a prayer in the Holy Qur’an which is intended for us as well for our next generations. Surah Ibrahim verse 41 (14:41) is a prayer of Hadrat Ibrahim (peace be on him) from whose progeny a Prophet was to be born who turned out to be most excellent among all prophets. This prayer also signifies the elevated status of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and is a prayer that Hadrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) not only made for the Prophet but also for his ummah.
Huzur said this is no ordinary or temporary prayer; today it is the upright and decent among the ummah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) alone who make efforts to establish Salat. This is because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was sent for the entire world and it was through him that Salat was to be established. Huzur said this verse/prayer is also a prophecy which was fulfilled and by recording it in the Qur’an Allah has made it the responsibility of the ummah to establish Salat. Huzur said this prayer is also representative of turning to and be inclined to One God. Today the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that has spread to the corners of the earth should make effort to establish Salat. Huzur further added that this prayer is also said during Salat by most people; they should ponder over it and make the prayer with a degree of genuine concern. This prayer is for establishing the Unity of God and should be made while reflecting over its meanings. In Ramadan everyone concentrates on Salat, not only would it help us these days it would also prove beneficial to us in the long run in establishing Salat.
Elucidating this verse the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) described the benefits of Salat and added that fasting illumines the heart, it opens the door to spiritual vision so that man may see God.

Huzur then cited Hadrat Ibrahim’s another prayer, Surah Al Baqarah verse 129 (2:129) and explained that this prayer is also to establish Salat and to promote it, in that may there be people who offer Salat while being mindful of its objective and its philosophy and may there always be such people who guide others and may the reverse never be experienced by the ummah.
Huzur said the zenith of this prayer was in the person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who also made this prayer and thus a revolution was brought about among the barbarians of Arab.

Huzur said this prayer was not limited to the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), indeed the pinnacle of its acceptance was in his person but now his ummah is again experiencing a manifestation of it. Huzur expounded that Allah did not allow the ummah to ever be completely out of order. A dark period of a thousand years came to pass but during this phase by virtue of saints of the ummah and mujadids (revivalists and reformers) there was always a body of people who abided by the true teachings of Islam. Then there was the advent of the mujadid of the latter-days, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who taught the correct ways of worship in Islam.

Huzur said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to guide people according to their circumstances. He would tell some that Jihad was the most virtuous act while others were told that financial giving was most virtuous. If he found a person weak in worship he would counsel them to offer tahajjud, while others were told to focus on paying the dues of kindred. In this age the matters the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has drawn attention to are the ways to adopt. If the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) once declared the Jihad of the sword essential then the need of the current age is the Jihad of the pen. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has guided us in light of and in comprehension of the Holy Qur’an and his teaching is what each Ahmadi must adopt, he has not given us any knowledge outside the Shariah.

It is our obligation to adhere to this right teaching so that Allah may forgive us and pardon our oversights because the Promised Messiah is also a realization of the prayers of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) who was meant to guide us.
Huzur then cited a few Quranic prayers; Surah Al Mu’minun verse 119, (23:119), Surah al Imran verse 17, (3:17), Surah Al Imran verse 148 (3:148) and Surah Al Imran verse 199 (3:199). In expounding verse 199 Huzur said that after the guidance of the Imam of this age may our own misfortune not deprive us of Allah’s light that he [the Imam of the age] gave us and may we be included among those who have complete belief in his claim.

Huzur quoted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that if Allah was not Forgiver of sins, he would not have taught us these prayers.

Referring to verse 146 Huzur advised to focus on this prayer for steadfastness and help against the opponents in light of the situation in Pakistan and some other countries where some mischief or the other is always being created.

Next Huzur cited verse 24 of Surah Al A’raf and said that at times we commit sins inadvertently therefore constant Istaghfar (seeking Divine forgiveness) is most essential. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that one should engage in Istaghfar for all sins, whether an apparent sin or one that is concealed. He also enjoined to make this prayer with abundance to counter the increase of sin. Putting it in perspective Huzur said how much more important is it to say this prayer in the current day when sin is much more widespread. It is a prayer that Hadrat Adam (on whom be peace) made to be saved from the Satan, similarly in the latter-days it is also prayer that will protect and save us from the Satan and not the use of force (sword).

Huzur said while one can make this prayer on individual level, it is also important for the progress of the Community.

Finally Huzur cited verse 202 of Surah Al Baqarah (2:202) and explained that the Holy Prophet used to make this prayer abundantly. Huzur then read an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which gave deep insight into the use of the word ‘Rabbana’ (our Lord) at the start of the prayer. He explained that it entails that one calls on God with this word forsaking all manner of shirk and only considers the One God the true God. Furthermore in this prayer one also seeks the good of this world because man experiences troubles in this world which make his restless and are akin to burning in fire. Huzur said this prayer protects from shirk and from the torment of the Hereafter.

Referring to this prayer and the 1st prayer Huzur cited in the sermon - 14:41 - Huzur said these two prayers are mostly said in Salat and they are most comprehensive prayers and may Allah accept them.

May each Ahmadi while attaining comprehension of these prayers during this Ramadan be regular in Salat and take this [virtue] further to the next generation and to others.