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Merits of Salat and Financial Giving

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

April 13th, 2007

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

Huzur cited verses 3 & 4 of Surah Al Anfal (8:3-4) and gave a discourse on the merits of Salat and financial giving in his Friday Sermon.

      1. Explaining, Huzur said that Allah has made it a mark of the true believers that when they are counselled and advised with reference to Allah, they react with awe, they take heed and this increases them in their faith.
      2. Sometimes, due to various reasons, true believers are not able to give due attention to Divine commandments. Regular reminding is enjoined by Allah, so that those who truly believe are drawn to His commandments and if their reasons are genuine then they may turn to Him with sincerity and if their reasons are mere excuses then the reminding is sufficient to shake them out of their negligence.
      3. Satan entices believers to disobey certain commandments. It should be borne in mind that the real refuge is with Allah and His is the Being that can be relied on in all situations and all circumstances. When a true believer is reminded of this, they realise of their creeping reliance on worldly supports and would return to Allah. This is the mark of a true believer, that he/she would return to their Lord, Who is Most Gracious, Ever Merciful and is the Master of the Day of Judgment.
      4. The verses cited above indicate that the two fundamental and distinguished signs of those who increase in their faith and who rely on Allah alone are that they establish Salat and they spend out of what Allah has given them.
      5. The Qur’an is replete with instances where financial giving is mentioned in conjunction with offering of Salat. This is to ensure the spiritual purity as well as cleansing of the ‘self’.
      6. Elsewhere in the Qur’an in Surah Ibrahim verse 32 (14:32) the believers are enjoined to observe Salat and discharge of financial giving before it is too late. In the next world this is all that will be of avail and will facilitate our salvation; huge bank balances and highly-placed friends will serve no purpose at all.
      7. Expounding a point in the above verse Huzur said prayer and financial giving made ‘secretly’ is a source of increase in faith and attainment of love of God whereas these acts when done openly inspire and enthuse others to follow suit and thus and draw Allah’s grace.
      8. Each Ahmadi who has accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and thus considers to be a part of the Community of true believers should pay utmost attention to these two aspects. Should try one’s level best to offer Salat in congregation and to aspire to offer nawafil (optional Salat).
      9. Huzur cited a few Ahadith to elucidate the importance of offering Salat and said that on the Day of Judgment the foremost answerability will be about observance of Salat.
      10. Huzur said when saying Salat in congregation in the mosque one must also observe the etiquette of mosque. It’s a basic rule that when congregational Salat is observed the rows ought to be straight. This depicts unity. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) paid great emphasis on the rows being straight.
      11. Huzur said there is usually complaint from the women’s side that the Salat rows are not straight and even the office-holders stand in uneven rows. Another complaint is that elderly or unwell ladies place chairs in the middle of rows to offer their Salat. This usually takes place at large gatherings like Jalsa etc. Those who have to offer their Salat sitting on chairs should move to one side or at the back.
      12. It should also be kept in mind that the Friday Sermon is a part of the Friday Prayer and as such requires complete attention. Observance of silence is so vital during the Friday Sermon that the commandment about discipline during its duration is by gesture and not word.
      13. Huzur said it seems that some young girls come to the Friday prayers to meet their friends. He said he did not say this out of negative conjecture rather he had evidence that some girls use their mobile/cell phones during the Sermon. Huzur said similar complaint is received about some young boys.
      14. If messaging etc is so important to them and they have no idea of the sanctity of the mosque and of the Friday Prayer then they should stay home. In any case it is better for women to say their Salat at home rather than cause disturbance. The objective of congregational prayer is to turn to Allah in unity rather than cause friction and inconvenience to others.
      15. Huzur said it should always be remembered that worship of God is greatly linked to the institution of Khilafat. In the Qur’an in terms of the blessings of Khilafat, Allah states in Surah Al Nur (24:56, 57) that this blessing is given to those who observe prayer and are thus grateful to Him and that the promise of the blessing of Khilafat is only given to these. Each Ahmadi should be fully conversant with the fact that the blessing of Khilafat is a grace of Allah.
      16. Huzur said that he has been informed that perhaps Salat attendance in Rabwah is low these days. Huzur said he did not completely believe this as he always surmises positively about Rabwah and that he had previously heard that attendance for Salat had increased in Rabwah; he said may Allah always uphold his positive surmise in this regard. He advised Ahmadis all over the world to make especial effort in terms of observance of Salat and said that the relationship between the Community and the Khalifa would be stronger when observance of Salat is greater.
      17. Huzur read extracts from the writing of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expounding the merits of observing Salat.
      18. The second aspect mentioned in the verses Huzur cited at the beginning of the sermon was financial giving. Huzur said with the grace of Allah the Community is much focussed in terms of spending in the cause of Allah. However, it is usually the same people who continue to make the sacrifice and a certain group of people who have great financial capability do not participate.
      19. Huzur said the Qur’an states that paying of Zakat and financial giving is also a way to receive the blessings of Khilafat. It then states to obey the Prophet so that mercy is shown. Huzur said we are fortunate in that we have obeyed the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and have accepted the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with whom the eternal glad tiding of Khilafat is associated. Huzur said the institution of Khilafat is a link in obedience of the Prophet. In this day and age when a scheme for financial giving is instigated for a cause which may not be covered by Zakat contribution it is exactly in line with the commandment of Allah and His Prophet.
      20. Zakat has its own significance; however the Community has a system of other schemes for financial giving. Zakat is certainly established within the Community and those who are liable for it should pay it. Huzur said some people wrongly say that rather than the Islamic ways the Community operates on its own system. Huzur said firstly, Zakat is not obligatory on everyone; secondly its prescribed rate is so low that it could not fulfil the needs of the time. In the times of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) addition financial contributions were taken during times of need. Huzur said the subscription (chanda) as set by the Khalifa is in line with the commandment of Allah and His Messenger. If there was no fixed prescribed rate for chanda during the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) time, it was set later in accordance with the needs and requirements.
      21. Huzur said with the Community’s financial year coming to a close he has no concerns. However, he re-iterated about a certain group of people who despite their wealth do not give according to the prescribed rate.
      22. Huzur mentioned that a while back he had advised that chanda should not be taken from those whose employment was in any way connected with pig meat. Huzur said the Jama’at in Germany had enacted this with diligence and rather than the decrease in chanda as some had feared, reports indicate huge increase.
      23. Huzur said love for one’s homeland is part of faith. Each Ahmadi should practice this and bring about pure change in themselves, inculcate high morals and a developed sense of financial giving. Out of their love for their homelands, Ahmadis belonging to under-developed as well as developed countries should pray for their country-men and try and bring about moral and spiritual revolution among them. The Salat and financial giving of each Ahmadi will be able to bring about revolutionary change only when it is made to seek Allah’s pleasure. May Allah enable us to achieve this standard.
      24. Next Huzur announced deaths of two Ahmadis. One is a tragic murder of an eighty year old Ahmadi in Pakistan, Chaudary Muhammad Sial Sahib and the other is the death of 92 year old Qureshi Mahmood ul Hassan Sahib from Pakistan. Huzur said he would lead their funeral prayers in absentia following the Friday Prayer.