by Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, at Jalsa Salana West Coast Dec 24th 2017
I thank you for inviting me to the Jalsa Salana West Coast 2017. It is indeed a high honour for me and a great privilege.
One of the purposes of these Jalsa gatherings is to inspire each other to become righteous people and to acquire wisdom. Wisdom also implies that we become aware of our own ignorance and short comings and try to become better people. Many of you have individually inspired me by your kindness and your love and courtesy. I thank you all. Having associated with a lot of you and having listened to the speeches and having prayed together and breaking bread together I am truly humbled.
To evolve spiritually and to maintain spiritual stability The Promised Messiah(as) emphasized ittiqa or forced effort, prayers and associating with people who are righteous consistent with the injunction of the Holy Quran (9:119) Ya ayo hallazena aamanoottaqallaha wa koonoo mah us saadeqeen
O ye who believe! fear Allah and be with the truthful or the righteous
The Promised Messiah says that a hadith mentions that on the day of judgement a man is accounting for his actions and God will ask him did you go to meet that righteous person of mine. The man will say I never intentionally went to meet him but once I met him on the way. God will say then enter paradise because you met my righteous servant I forgive you.
There is another hadith that the Promised Messiah mentions in this regard. He says that once Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) met Hazrat abu Hurraira(ra) on his way and Hazrat Abu Hurraira was crying and weeping. On asking why by Hazrat Abu Bakr Hazrat Abu Hurraira said I realize I am a munafiq. When I am with the Prophet(sa) I feel spiritual high . However when I am away from the Prophet I am not that spiritually inclined. Hazrat Abu Bakr said I am the same way . So they go to the Prophet(sa) and ask the Prophet(sa) about it. After listening to them the Prophet(sa) said no you are not a munafiq. In explaining this The Promised Messiah(as) says man goes through qabz and bast . Periods of Spiritual low and periods spiritual high as long as you keep trying with all humility and prayers to reduce the phase of qabz you will be fine. That is where ittiqa forced effort and prayers help. We must kill our egos, passions and desires and come into complete submission to Allah’s Will. It is only then that we inoculate ourselves from sin and other vices. Ma ShayTa Fa Inni Ghafarto Laka. (see also 41:41 Aymalo ma shaytum: Do what you will) man’s very nature has changed . He will no longer sin or stumble. Do what you will. He has achieved spiritual stability.
Let us hope and pray that we capitalize on what we learnt and acquired here over the last 2-3 days and translate it into good for ourselves and society at large and we leave here wiser and better and will show more humility and submission and indulge in higher quality of worship and sacrifices
The Promised Messiah(as) emphasized I have been sent to guide you and to inspire you so you may become truly righteous. It is therefore incumbent on you that you help me with your sacrifices so we may spread the light to the rest of the world.
Meaning in life comes from serving mankind. Significance in life doesn’t come from status, because you can always find somebody who’s got more than you. It doesn’t come from salary. It comes from humility, submission and service. It is in giving our lives away that we find meaning, we find significance. That’s the way we were wired by God.
In serving mankind look at what’s in your hand, what you have been bestowed with — your identity, your influence, your wealth — It’s about making the world a better place.
Moses goes out to the valley of Tuwa, and God talks to him. (20:19) And God says, “Moses, what’s in your right hand?” Moses says, “It’s a staff. It’s a shepherd’s staff. I lean on it. I use it to beat down leaves for my sheep and I have other uses for it ” And God says, “Throw it down.” He throws it down and it comes alive and is running like a serpent.. And then God says, “Pick it up.” He picks it up and it becomes a staff again.
“What’s in your hand?” I think that’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever be asked. What’s in your hand? What do you have that you’ve been given? And Allah is saying, “If you lay it down, I’ll make it come alive. I will multiply it. I will do things you could never imagine. You got to sacrifice . You have to let go. We read in the Holy Quran La in shaker tum la azi dunna , 14:8 All this is for your benefit. This is my bounty to you. If you employ these benefits righteously, I will go on multiplying them for you.
All spiritual traditions emphasize detachment or Tabbatal. This does not imply material reality be held in contempt. It implies attachment to God and unqualified dependency on Him. Difficulties arise not because we have things but our possessions become our attachment. Sacrifice becomes difficult when we cannot detach ourselves . We must let go.
Take the example of a young man Chris who was watching the beautiful view from the top of the grand canyon. He was leaning against a fence. Suddenly the wooden posts of the fence rip and Chris plunges down into the abyss. Half way down as he was flapping his arms he grabs a scrungy tree branch growing from a canyon wall. As he hung there he looked around. He knew it was a matter of time before he would fall to the bottom and die. Desperate, he cries out . God help me. Please God help me. To his surprise he hears a voice say . All right. And a few seconds later the voice says Let go. Let go he thought. But God you don’t understand I am too far up.. Let go the voice repeated . There was silence for a few seconds . Then in a weak terrified voice Chris calls out. Is there anyone else up there.
The story is corny, except that it is true; true of everyone of us in the sense that it coveys a powerful truth. So long as we cling we are bound. We are attached. We are restricted in our devotion to God. Complete devotion to God implies gratitude to God. Gratitude is being content with what you have and not being jealous or bearing rancor against anyone. Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) talked about the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa). The Prophet(sa) called them shining stars. They were men of excellence. The Promised Messiah(as) says no prior scripture refers to the companions of a prophet of the time in the words the Holy Quran does. It is only in the Holy Quran we read Raziallaho unhum wa razoo unho (5:120 also 58:23) Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him (98:19) The exalted status of these companions reflected the exalted status of The Holy Prophet(sa).
Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar(ra), a companion of the Holy Prophet(sa) offered salat with The Prophet(sa). After salat The Prophet(sa) was talking to Hazrat Abdullah Umar(ra) and referring to a person sitting near by The Prophet(sa) said that this person is heaven-bound. This aroused the curiosity of Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar and to find out what deed or deeds on the part of that person had deserved God’s beneficence Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar sought to become an overnight guest at that person’s house. He was shown great hospitality. Hazrat Ibn Umar relates I offered Tahajjud prayers while this person slept. I kept an obligatory fast the next day while this person did not. Ibn Umar then asked him what has made you so blessed. He replied please ask The Prophet(sa). Ibn Umar went to The Prophet(sa) and asked .The Prophet sent him back to the person and to ask him with The Prophet’s permission. The man said firstly I do not value worldly things. Whatever I have or get I am content with it. I am grateful for it. Secondly I do not harbor jealousy or rancor against anyone. Hazrat Ibn Umar spontaneously said surely Allah has given you superiority over others.
We are going through unprecedented times The events of this year, our elections and natural disasters and other tragedies indicate our world is pretty messed up . We are reminded of the verse of the Holy Quran Wal asre inal insane fe khusrin (103). We are all in a state of loss. What is happening to us ? Our beliefs and actions are not compatible. We are making laws against divine intent and design. We are living hypocritical lives. Every day many stand as bystanders to the world around us. Not just to people in need on the street but larger social, political and environmental problems. We are picking a fight with God.
The Promised Messiah(as) envisioned us all to be high caliber messengers who would bring honour to Islam and The Holy Prophet(sa). It is a collective struggle in the cause of truth with patience and steadfastness and supporting each other in the difficult struggle against the forces of evil.
The Holy Quran calls us Kuntum Khaira Ummatin (3:111) meaning that being the followers of the Grand Prophet(sa) and his Messiah we are enlightened and endowed with abilities far above our fellow beings. It is therefore our burden to carry. We must tighten our belts and take our place to fight the fight with honor and dignity, against the powers of evil, against poverty, disease and death, which follow fast in the wake of sin and ignorance. We must fight against all those forces which are working to destroy the image of God in man.
To do this we must commit to following the prescription of The Holy Quran Aqi musalata wa ah tuzzakata wa ati ur rasoola la allakum turha moon to improving upon the quality and quantity of our salat and prayers; improving upon the quality and quantity of our sacrifices; improving upon the quality of obedience to the Holy Prophet(sa) so we may be shown mercy (24:57)
It is time for all of us to double down. Double down in praying . Praying frequently and intensely so Allah may have mercy on us and guide us all to be a better and more humane people and expedite the victory of Islam and Ahmadiyyat
As we close this Jalsa proceedings I wish to thank the organizers and workers for a job well done. May Allah reward all of you abundantly.
Please drive carefully as you make your way from here. May Allah protect all of us.
Pray for those who are suffering in various parts of the world under various forms of oppression and persecution.
Let us pray for those who are sick and suffering. May Allah heal them and grant them health and wellness.
Let us pray for those in difficulties ; legal, financial and family matters. May Allah alleviate their distress.
Let us remember those who have passed away during the year. May Allah have mercy on them.
May Allah have special mercy on the Ahmadi martyrs and their families.
Let us implore Allah to bring sanity into the minds of our government so that they restrain themselves and do not try to solve problems using deviant speech and actions. May Allah guide us all to elect people capable of handling the trust.
Let us pray for Khalifatul Masih V. May Allah grant Huzur(aba) good health and a long life to guide us to the victory of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. We are the beneficiaries of the divine protection of Khilafat. This is our life line let us hold on to it firmly.
Let us pray for our parents . We owe them a lot. May Allah have mercy on them.
We must remember to routinely pray for our children. May Allah always keep them under His protection and guidance.
Let us remember to send Darood to our greatest benefactors The Holy Prophet(sa) and The Promised Messiah(as).
Let us pray that we enter the new year with increased vigor and determination to serve Allah and man to the best of our abilities and achieve true joy, peace and tranquility.
In prayers we must remember gratitude. Gratitude is remembrance of Allah, gratitude is joy in worship We as Ahmadis have to be more grateful than others. We have been granted this privilege of believing in the Imam of the age.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Faz korooni Az kur kum therefore remember Me and I will remember you; washkorooli wala takforoon -and be thankful to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me (2:153)
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Busr said: “Two bedouins came to the Messenger of Allah and one of them said: `O Messenger of Allah, which of the people is best’ He said: (The one whose life is long and whose deeds are good.) Mun Tahla umrohoo wa hassano aamalo
The other one said: `O Messenger of Allah, the laws of Islam are too much for us. Teach me something that I can adhere to.’ He said, (Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah, may He be exalted.) La Ya Zalo Lasanoka Rutbun bayzikrilla Tala
“Allah did not enjoin any duty upon His servants without setting known limits and accepting the excuses of those who have a valid excuse — apart from Dhikr, for Allah has not set any limits for it, and no one has any excuse for not remembering Allah unless he is oppressed and forced to neglect it. Indeed, the Prophet said that the People of Paradise will only regret one thing: not having made enough dhikr in the world!
Therefore remember the proverb
Happy moments Praise God; difficult moments seek God; quiet moments worship God; painful moments trust God; Every moment thank God.
Rabbana Taqqabal Minna Inna ka untus sami ul aleem.