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Gratefulness for the institution of Jalsa Salana

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

September 7th, 2007

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

Huzur delivered his Friday Sermon from Germany and based on the subject of a sense of gratefulness in terms of the institution/tradition of Jalsa Salana as initiated by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

Huzur said each year those who are entrusted with work of the Jalsa perform it with a great deal of commitment and fervour. Before Jalsa, wherever in the world it may be taking place, people write to me requesting prayers that they are enabled to carry out their duties well, indeed this happens in Germany as well. This is a frame of mind, a grounding and love of God that the Community has received through the education and training of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) thus giving them an awareness of the Lord of the worlds, Most Gracious and Ever Merciful God.

It has enabled them to utilise their faculties and strengths and organise the Jalsa to the best of their understanding. During the pre-Jalsa time the volunteer workers as well as the organisers make prayers themselves and also write to me. Without the aspect of prayer the work would be inadequate and any claim to Divine closeness would be merely a claim. Our tasks are blessed only because we turn to One in Whose control lies everything. While a successful conclusion of Jalsa should bring a measure of joy and satisfaction to the volunteer workers, it should turn them to God ever more in thankfulness, always mindful of the Quranic statement of verse 8 of Surah Ibrahim (14:8). Allah’s blessings would increase if we continued to be grateful. In next year’s Centenary Jalsa greater attendance is expected and the organisation would have to be on a wider scale. Heedful of the Divine message that all plans and arrangements are dependent on Allah’s grace and consequently turning to Him with a greater sense of gratitude, one should never attribute success to one’s own ingenuity and resourcefulness. This warrants Allah’s promise of help and succour no matter how extensive one’s arrangement gets or how difficult a situation may appear. Sense of thankfulness coupled with remembrance of Allah keeps one’s mind fresh and the blessings would continue. Indeed the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) left his blessed model prayer ‘O Lord make me one to remember You and be grateful to You and perform Your worship in a beautiful manner’. Huzur said along with one’s sentiments of thankfulness to Allah one should also be grateful to those people who facilitate matters for one because of we do not promote thankfulness after receiving favours from God’s creation, gratitude to Allah is also not inculcated.

The administration of the Community should also be grateful to those who carry out the work, who help out with the Jalsa arrangements in some way or the other and have help in providing facilities in listening to the Jalsa proceedings, comfort in the accommodation arrangement and who minimise the discomfort for others in other areas. Of course the comfort of home cannot be replicated at Jalsa as they arrangements are so extensive, however, the organisers try their best to improve and the workers, who are comprised of men, women, young men and young women carry out their task with sincerity and a sense of zeal. This frame of mind has been inculcated by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) among his followers and it always impresses people from outside. This year, Huzur said, a visiting MP from Malta and some Islamic scholars from Indonesia acknowledged the unique order at Jalsa and others expressed their amazement at how this huge undertaking is taken on without any governmental help. Some arrangements that perhaps are not so well executed for us appear great to them and Allah upholds the standing of the Community in the eyes of the outsiders.

Huzur remarked that the Jalsa guests from Pakistan are amazed to note the workers at the German Jalsa work like efficient components of machinery. Huzur added that the disposition to work in this manner has been established in a few places in the Jama’at, for example in the UK. However as the well-trained (in Jalsa organisation) people from Rabwah, Pakistan emigrated and settled in Germany in a great number, the result reflects in the Jalsa arrangements here. Huzur said that he has mentioned his sense of concern before that InshaAllah when a Jalsa will be held in Pakistan – after a long duration of time – there is no difficulty in the organisation, in particular as that prospective Jalsa would be ten times larger in scale that both the German and the UK Jalsa put together. However, with Allah’s help, when need arises each Ahmadi can perform well, with a special ability to perform in urgent situations! Huzur assured the UK Jama’at that they need not feel any concern over their capacity to organise Jalsa as their standard is also quite high now. Huzur added that in Germany the Jalsa site provides a lot of the infrastructure needed and this goes a long way in allocation of time to other areas of organisation. He said it is indeed a great blessing of Allah to have the use of the huge and well-resourced site although it comes with some restrictions. These restrictions in fact are there to improve our standards, for example the health and safety requirements have helped us better the hygiene in the ‘langar khana’ which is an excellent aspect as cleanliness is part and parcel of faith. Indeed, Huzur said many has remarked that this year the cleanliness in the dining area was much improved. Huzur said that an engineer from our Community has invented a semi-automatic machine to clean the ‘daigs’ (huge pots/cauldrons) used at Jalsa. This machine thoroughly cleans a ‘daig’ in the space of one minute. Huzur said he has advised the engineer to make a few modifications to the machine and to have it patented. He said first and foremost we shall provide this machine to Jama’ats in other countries. Huzur remarked that Allah has enabled Ahmadis with the prowess to invent devices with minimum expenditure that are most useful to the Community. Allah thus enables them but they should be extremely mindful never to let this be a cause of arrogance or self-importance for them, in fact this should increase them in humility and sense of thankfulness; these meritorious sentiments however would not be substantive unless they are in conjunction with worship of God.

Huzur said that Allah’s blessings that an Ahmadi enjoys are the fruit of joining the Community and compliance to its administrative system. This compliance is associated with obedience to the institution of Khilafat. If one feels that a section of the Community or a person is in need of improvement, then they should inform the Khalifa of the time, however non-compliance to the system of the Community is unacceptable. We should always be mindful of the model of obedience that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) left for us, it is our task to hear and obey and be aware whether we are fulfilling our obligations or not. Each person is accountable for their own deeds.

A great favour of Allah on the Community is the blessing of Khilafat and a Khalifa is on the side of the truth and his role is firmly non-partisan. Huzur said during the Jalsa period he met with many indigenous German new converts and one young man asked Huzur how one could improve a situation whereby an individual who has served as an office-holder within the Community in the past does comply with the current office-holder. Huzur said this suggestion shook him that people hailing from Pakistan have set such examples that after being an office-holder they have stooped so low. Huzur said the Pakistanis better may heed that people from all ethnicities are going to come into the Community and each ethnic group will run the administration system of the Community themselves so they had better forget to consider others as ‘new’ or ‘novice’ and engage in Istaghfar with profusion for the reason that although they are the veterans, the new-comers have excelled in obedience and sincerity. Huzur said he explained to the German young man to first counsel with love and affection and pray for them, failing that they should inform the Ameer. If that does not work then they should write to Huzur so that he could take the necessary disciplinary action. Huzur remarked that the German new Ahmadis have swiftly understood the administrative system of the Community; one young person asked Huzur whether one should give preference in terms of time etc. to a task of the central Jama’at or the auxiliary organisation (Khuddam). Huzur said the gist of the detailed response he gave the young man is that the system of the Jama’at is the central system, the auxiliaries are secondary, although these too work under the auspices of the Khalifa of the time but the system of the Jama’at holds central position and as such has the status of being authorised by the Khalifa. Therefore, the relevant Khuddam office-holder should be notified and then the task of the central Jama’at should be undertaken first. Huzur explained that as a rule each Jama’at prepares its annual calendar in advance and the calendars of the auxiliary organisations are prepared ‘around’ the main calendar, however in case of emergency the Jama’at task takes precedence. However, the Jama’at may not interfere in the tasks of the auxiliary organisations despite their system having precedence.

Huzur clarified that in the monthly meetings of local Jama’ats Lajna does not have to join in, unless it is a special meeting commemorating Masih e Maud Day, Musleh Maud Day or Khilafat Day, although they can hold these on their own as well. Huzur said the objective of forming auxiliary organisations was for each section of the Community to be included and have their own modus operandi and all the divisions to run parallel to each other.

Huzur said that he had received a complaint that the ladies marquee (at Jalsa in Germany) tended to be very noisy. Huzur advised them that at UK Jalsa there is always an arrangement for a separate marquee for mothers and children so that the noise level is reduced. Huzur added maybe the children are only used as an excuse for the noise the ladies make themselves. However, Huzur said this year during his speech the ladies marquee was extraordinarily quiet which heartened him but he regretted having made a negative conjecture about the ladies that they used the children merely as an excuse for the noise. Huzur said he later learnt that he had certainly not made any negative conjecture (or had thought ill) because apart from the time he graced the ladies marquee a large section of women there kept talking and would not pay any heed to those responsible for maintaining order so much so that those ladies who had come to listen to the Jalsa proceedings with good intent were reduced to tears due to the continuous din. Huzur reminded all that one year the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) did not hold a Jalsa Salana because he deemed the objective for holding it was not being fulfilled. Huzur said he was considering disallowing ladies’ Jalsa on national level until such time that they corrected themselves and made amends. Or Huzur said, he could opt not to directly address the ladies until such time that he is informed that they listen to the rest of the programmes in silence or that he would instruct that only the new convert ladies and those under the age of twenty-five could attend the Jalsa while the other ladies were banned from Jalsa and national Ijtima. Huzur said he was considering enquiring from his representatives about the situation in other countries. He said ladies have been advised many time before to no avail. There was silence during my speech but on my departure the usual noise ensued. Huzur said this is a moment of serious reflection for old-time Ahmadis because the new-comers are excelling in sincerity whereas the old ones are only conscious of one aspect of Jalsa; to promote mutual fraternal ties. Huzur said an act or deed that is not done according to the suitability of time and place is not a good deed. The Lajna is liable of this slip-up from the smallest sphere to their central organisation. The attitude of some old-time Ahmadis is a cause for concern that they may mar the sacrifices made by their elders. Huzur said at the moment the new Ahmadis in Germany, who excel in their fervour and sincerity number in their hundreds, their sense of obedience and keenness to serve is prominent; it is not long when they will number in their thousands and indeed hundreds of thousands. These new Ahmadis should take the light of true Islam to their country people. Huzur remarked that recently some would-be terrorists who had come from Pakistan were arrested and the country was saved from a huge disaster. Huzur said the message of true Islam should also be taken to these misguided, astray people. Huzur advised to plan comprehensive strategy for this. He said we should reform ourselves, bring about pure change in ourselves for this alone is the way to make revolutionary change.

Huzur said a blessing of the Jalsa in Germany had been that many pure-natured souls did their bai’at during it which took place in an emotionally charged ambience. Huzur said many do not know but he took direct bai’at of many German new convert ladies by means of holding his wife’s hand. Huzur said they were all deeply moved and one could clearly see a huge transformation in them by coming into the refuge of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). As soon as the words of Bai’at were uttered some of them sobbed uncontrollably, their spiritual angst was beyond words. Huzur said as soon as he left the room, he is told they assumed prostration of thankfulness. Huzur said these are young women who had forgotten God but now had connected to the One God through the hand of the true and ardent devotee of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

These blessings will be of avail to us when we are ever thankful and strengthen the pledge we make at Bai’at. We can only be useful members of the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) if we obey Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) perfectly, may Allah enable all to be so.